Leftists Detest Patriotism
An NBC sports writer complains that flags and the national anthem are injecting politics into the game.
NBC Sports writer Craig Calcaterra stirred a hornet’s nest this past weekend when he took to Twitter to complain about the injection of politics in sports. “Will you keep politics out of sports, please. We like sports to be politics-free.” By which he meant the American flag and national anthem, because he tweeted it with a picture of the Atlanta Braves' new stadium during the national anthem.
Calcaterra followed up his tweet with an essay on the NBC Sports website in which he claimed that the presence of American flags and patriotic imagery in sports is part of a post-9/11 “conspicuous patriotism” meant to evoke specific feelings in sports fans.
Maybe Calcaterra would like to file his complaint with the Marine who carried a flag all the way through the Boston Marathon — on a prosthetic leg.
Of course, American Patriots realize that it’s Calcaterra who’s guilty of mixing politics and sports. The display at the Braves game, and many like it at ballparks across the country, are patriotic displays meant to show support for our country and our military. This sort of thing has been going on at sporting events for generations. Despite what Calcaterra thinks, there is no Orwellian propaganda machine at work.
Sports fans are generally a patriotic lot. Calcaterra discovered this in the responses his tweet generated in the hours and days after he posted it. Many challenged his thinking, wondering what was so political about displaying the American flag and being patriotic. One of Calcaterra’s snarky replies was that “People often wrap themselves in the flag in order to achieve political ends.”
People often burn the flag for the same reason, but when flags are displayed in sports, there is no political end to achieve. America-hating leftists can’t seem to grasp that. For them, everything is political. And their inherently thin skin leads them to believe that there is some hidden agenda behind anything they can’t understand. No wonder they’re so bitter.
Take a look at the farce that was Colin Kaepernick’s protest last football season. Kaepernick claimed that he refused to stand during the playing of the National Anthem to show his solidarity for the mistreatment of black people by police. One could argue that Kaepernick’s sentiment to protest such abuse was well-intentioned, but he showed extremely poor judgment by directing his anger at America as a whole and not simply at those responsible for real abuse.
Kaepernick’s error quickly and roundly drew the ire of football fans, and he now sits jobless on the sidelines waiting to see if he will even be picked up by a team for next season. Rumor has it that no NFL team will touch him after the whole debacle.
Leftists are finding themselves increasingly marginalized in America either because they cannot grasp the true meaning of patriotism or because they are terrible at hiding their outright loathing for America. Perhaps it’s a combination of the two. Either way, they seem to want the flexibility to embrace patriotism and the American ideal when it suits them, mainly so they have something to hide behind when they show their contempt for this country and many of its time-honored institutions.
The difference between what is patriotic and what is anti-American should be easy to see, so it’s puzzling that there is such a vigorous debate over the issue. But leftists will keep that argument going because it’s in their nature.
It would just be nice if they can keep that debate out of sports. We Americans like baseball, football, basketball, and all the other contests because we admire physical skill and athletic prowess. We’re not looking for more social justice warriors. Hollywood, Washington and the mass media have given us more than enough of them to go around. Sports is one of the few things in American life that is inherently politics-free. That’s why we like sports. Let’s keep it that way.