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NFL May Keep Teams in Locker Rooms for National Anthem Next Season

Do you know why NFL players come out on the field and stand with their hand over their hearts during the national anthem? It’s because the US government essentially started paying them to during the Obama administration. It’s technically an advertisement for the Department of Defense, as are a lot of the rah-rah pro-America displays at sporting events. When the Blue Angels fly overhead and the Marines have that flag ceremony at midfield before the game, that’s because our tax dollars are being given to the NFL to do that so that more people enlist in the military.

Before about 2009, teams usually took the field immediately after the national anthem was sung, and stayed in the locker room or the tunnel while the anthem was performed. The reason they started going out before the anthem is because we started paying them to. Well, we didn’t specifically pay teams to stand for the anthem, but the league started putting players on the field for the anthem at the same time as they starting doing a bunch of other product placement for the military.

Now the NFL is reportedly considering going back to introducing teams after the anthem. This is a rumor that has been circulating for a few months, first appearing around Thanksgiving. The change, along with possible changes to Thursday Night Football, would take effect next season.

Jim Trotter, an ESPN reporter who covers the NFL, tweeted today that the rumors that this will be the policy going forward haven’t died down behind the scenes.

All I can say about this is that it would absolutely be the right move. I don’t even know why we’re playing the national anthem before sporting events to begin with. What’s with all the displays for patriotism in sports? I don’t watch sports to express my patriotism, in fact I expressly root for the Patriots to lose every game they play. This weekend I’ll be cheering my heart out for the Jacksonville Not-The-Patriots to win the AFC Championship, even though I’d like to see the Philadelphia Not-The-Patriots take home the Lombardi Trophy.

Look, I’m glad you love America, I love America, too. But sometimes America does shitty things, like invading a country under false pretenses, destabilizing the entire region and creating an even worse threat than the one we’re ostensibly fighting to begin with. And sometimes, like when our increasingly militarized police forces keep killing unarmed black men and getting away with it, we might want to protest. If you think a football game is no place for a protest, it’s also no place for a tacit endorsement of misguided and harmful policies in the first place.

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I really expected to see this comments section filled with patriotic trolls posting pictures of eagles and the American flag while screaming obscenities at Eric.

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