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Stop Playing The National Anthem At Sporting Events

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NFL players protesting during the national anthem has become a topic of conversation yet again. But it feels like a diversion from the real issues at hand to dive into an argument that has already been had so many times, especially since it is abundantly clear why a knee was taken in the first place. SI's Jimmy Traina has a solution. Stop playing the anthem at sporting events altogether. He discussed with host Robin Lundberg in today's Traina Thoughts.

Read below for video transcript:

Robin Lundberg: I've said for a while that arguing over the merits of player protests during the national anthem is no longer productive and we should move to the actual topics at hand. But our Jimmy Traina has a good way to make sure that that is the case, which is to not play the national anthem at sporting events at all. Jimmy?

Jimmy Traina: Yeah, I mean, I've always felt this way pretty much, I've written this column a few times over the years. And again, what I asked in the column today and what I still can never get an answer to is why, besides tradition, is the national anthem played before each and every sporting event. You know, if the Royals are playing the Brewers on July 18th, the anthem is played. Why? I understand what the anthem is. Because I know people are going to be like you don't know it's for the troops. Yeah, I got it. Why does it have to be a part of sports besides tradition? That's what I don't understand.

Robin Lundberg: And, you know, exclusively to sports, right, not to movies, not to Broadway.

Jimmy Traina: That was what I said, you know, why don't they play it before a movie starts in a movie theater? Like, why is it just a sports thing? You know, especially when, as you know, there is a big stick to sports crowd out there, yet they are all for the anthem being played before a sporting event. And the anthem has nothing to do with sports. So I don't understand. And one thing I'd like to say is, you know, I get that what Colin Kaepernick started really was the start of all this with his peaceful protests, and if you eliminate the anthem, you take away a player's right to peacefully protest, which Colin and others have done. I'm not looking to take it away because of that. I hate the fact that it's been politicized. You know, Trump comes out and talks about kneeling for the flag, even though that's not what this is about. But regardless of what's happened over the past two to three weeks in this country, I still don't understand why this gets played at sporting events outside of tradition. No one can give me a reason.

Robin Lundberg: And it wasn't until these players protested the way they did that it became this big deal. You know, I've seen a lot of people take a bathroom break at that point in time or place an over under bet on the duration.

Jimmy Traina: And as I said in the column today in Traina Thoughts, you know, people want to act like the anthem is so sacred. But meanwhile, the four networks that air the NFL, CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN, they never show it outside of the postseason. Every Sunday at one o'clock, they're in commercial when the anthem is played. Every Sunday at four o'clock, they're in commercial when the anthem is played. So let's relax with the holier than thou routine about how important it is because the commercials and the money they make are way more important.