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The national anthem-NFL saga is only being used to promote fake patriotism.

By Jimmy Traina
May 24, 2018

1. The easiest solution to the national anthem situation would be to stop playing the anthem before every single sporting event.

Obviously, this will never happen because leagues don’t want to be accused of not being patriotic, but in reality, the playing of the anthem before each and every sporting event in 2018 is done for tradition, not patriotism. And God forbid we mess with tradition.

But Donald Trump, who is all about playing to his base, has made the national anthem issue about the military. And scared NFL owners—who only care about money and nothing else—don’t want to anger Trump or his supporters. Of course, the military has nothing to do with why certain players decided to kneel during the playing of the anthem. 

In fact, it seems everyone has forgotten why Colin Kaepernick initially decided to get down on one knee while the anthem played. Here’s a reminder:

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," said Kapernick in 2016. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

Naturally, Donald Trump and the NFL don’t want to address that issue. They want to focus on the buzzwords—“respect,” “military,” “troops”—and make this whole thing about fake patriotism.

My question is this: Why is it only athletes and people at sporting events who have to be subjected to the anthem?

Why isn’t the anthem played in theaters before a movie starts?
Why isn’t it played before a Broadway show begins?
Why isn’t it played before a flight takes off?

The answer is simple: Because it’s tradition to play it before a sporting event. Not because we have to take time out of our day to “respect the flag.”

Former NFL quarterback Sage Rosenfels gets it.

And if Donald Trump—who doesn't even know the words to the national anthem—loves the anthem so much and feels so passionately about the anthem, I have more questions:

[youtube:https://youtu.be/uyrfbQ6Tkdw]

Does Donald Trump make them play the anthem before he golfs every weekend?
Why isn’t the anthem played each day before Sarah Huckabee Sanders has her daily briefing with the media?
Shouldn’t it be played before his State of the Union addresses?

But instead, Trump has put all the focus on NFL players, who he called sons of bitches because he has to pretend to be more patriotic than everyone else. And just this morning he said if a player doesn’t stand for the anthem maybe they shouldn’t be in the country.

Again, classic fake patriotism.

And remember one thing: NFL owners want you to think they care so deeply about the anthem and they want you to believe they are more patriotic than most people, yet the league does not force the networks that air the games (CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN) to air the anthem before every game. Instead, while fans in the stadiums are standing and the song is played, the NFL and the networks are making money by airing commercials. Patriotism at its best!

2. From the serious to the sublime. The voice of the New York Yankees, John Sterling, is the guest on the latest SI Media Podcast. Sterling, who has not missed one single game since getting the job in 1989, talks about his longevity, his philosphy for broadcasting, how he preps for games, what he thinks of his very vocal critics, his famous home run calls, his age, new media and techology, the Kardashian sisters, music, his favorite adult beverage and much, much more. Even if you're not a Yankees fan, you should listen to this strictly for entertainment value. You can listen to the podcast below or download it on iTunes.

3. LeBron James showed off his impressive memory once again last night, recalling in great detail each of his six turnovers in Cleveland's loss to Boston.

4. Yankees slugger Aaron Judge played MLB The Show 18 with Conan O'Brien yesterday. The duo faced off in a Home Run Derby battle with Judge playing as Giancarlo Stanton and O'Brien as Ted Williams. In the middle of the game, Judge became a judge and settled a dispute between friends.

Conan

5. I'll never understand why some athletes who are worth $90 million react to things they see on Twitter, but here we are. Carmelo Anthony was very salty about being compared to Kyle Korver on social media, so he told the person, "FOH."

6. Bartolo Colon turns 45 years old today. His career has outlasted all of the things listed in the graphic below.

7. RANDOM "ACOUSTIC" VIDEO OF THE DAY

Traina Thoughts is the best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina. Get the link to a new Traina's Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook. Catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts right here.And make sure to listen to and subscribe to the SI Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina.

IN CLOSING: Yes, Rob Gronkowski's horse opened up at 69-1 odds to win the Belmont.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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