Now that San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the National Anthem has caught on with some other NFL players and even a high school football team, it is time to address an additional issue regarding our or any country’s anthem. I would like to pose a few questions to Kaepernick and his sympathizers.
Let us assume there was a Canadian team in the NFL, say in Toronto. The 49ers are playing a game against that team in Canada. Would you stand for the Canadian National Anthem, “Oh Canada”? Of course, you would – not as a sign of allegiance but as a sign of respect. It would be expected. I certainly would.
Now that the NFL is playing games in London every year, I assume that before those games, both the American and British National Anthem are played. Would you stand for both? Of course you would for the same reason.
You are in another country and attending a sporting event. Would you stand for the playing of that country’s national anthem? Of course you would.
During my lifetime, I have lived in Germany, Thailand and Italy. I have heard their national anthems played many times as well as the Royal Anthem of Thailand in homage to the King of Thailand. I have always stood as expected not out of allegiance but out of respect. In fact, I can tell you I would have been in a heap of trouble had I not stood for the Royal Anthem of Thailand, both from the police and any Thais around me. Of course I don’t expect similar problems for Kaepernick over his refusal to stand. He has the Constitutional right, just as we have the same right to criticize him.
It would be most interesting to see the 49ers play in London. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see Kaepernick stand for “God Save the Queen” then sit for the “Star-Spangled Banner”? I suspect he has not fully thought this out. Then again, he doesn’t strike me as very bright to begin with.
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