Stop Playing the National Anthem at Sporting Events: TRAINA THOUGHTS

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1. It seems once again that kneeling is going to be an issue during the NFL season.

Roger Goodell came out a few days ago and said he now supports peaceful protest while players such as Adrian Peterson have said they fully intend to take a knee during the anthem this season. 

No matter how many times it is explained that NFL players took a knee during the national anthem to peacefully protest police brutality and the social justice system, there are still many people, as Drew Brees showed last week, who associate the kneeling with disrespecting the flag, even though the kneeling has nothing to do with the flag.

In addition, the kneeling by NFL players has, is and will be used as a political weapon by a certain person seeking re-election, which only muddies the water even more.

To me, there is a very simple solution to fix this entire situation: Stop playing the national anthem at sporting events.

I've asked this question many, many times over the years and I'll ask it again, because nobody who is intelligent enough to grasp the question can answer it: Outside of "tradition," why is the national anthem played at sporting events?

What does the national anthem have to do with a Brewers-Padres game or a Vikings-Bears game or a Lakers-Celtics game? 

Now, many of you are already tweeting me to tell me the national anthem pays tribute to soldiers and the military and the United States of America. Guess what? I know that. I fully understand what the national anthem is, so you don't have to explain it to me. And my grandfather was a World War II veteran, so you can save the "you don't have any military in your family" response.

So I'll repeat what I'm asking: Why is the national anthem played before each and every sporting event? What does the national anthem have to do with sports? Why, other than tradition, is the national anthem a requirement for sporting events?

Why is the national anthem not played at the movie theaters before the previews begin?

Why is the national anthem not played at Broadway shows before the show begins?

Why is the national anthem not played at restaurants before you get your meal?

Why is the national anthem not played before White House briefings?

Why only sporting events?

Nobody is against honoring veterans. But I still don't understand why we do it at sporting events only.

And keep in mind that all four networks that broadcast the NFL—CBS, NBC, FOX and ESPN—don't even air the national anthem. While the song is being played in NFL stadiums across the country each and every Sunday and Monday, those four networks air commercials. The other sports don't show the anthem, either, outside of postseason games and All-Star Games. That's how sacred the song is to leagues.

Of course, the irony is that the people who are going to attack me for this opinion are also the same exact people who fire off "stick to sports" tweets on a regular basis.

2. Speaking of the "stick to sports" crowd, LeBron James did his part to educate those people with this powerful message.

3. Here's a trailer for ESPN's next 30-for-30 on Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, which airs this Sunday.

4. I'm anti piped-in crowd noise, but pro stuffed animals in seats for sporting events during corona.

5. Recent episodes of the SI MEDIA PODCAST for your listening pleasure:

• Erin Andrews
• Andrew Perloff
• Peter Schrager
• Ian Eagle
• Chris Long
• Michael Imperioli/Steve Schirripa

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.

6. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: Watched a little Coming to America over the weekend and this might be the most underrated funny scene in the movie.

7. SPORTS HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: Out of all the insane baseball brawls we've seen, I feel like Pedro Guerrero hurling a bat at David Cone in 1988 does not get nearly enough attention as one of the wildest MLB moments ever.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.