Sports journalist Kevin Blackistone objects to the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before games because it is a “war anthem,” he said on ESPN’s Around the Horn on Wednesday. Blackistone opposed “conflating” athletics with warfare during a discussion about Northwestern University’s Wounded Warrior Project–themed uniform that features the American flag and a design that some think looks like splattered blood (Under Armour, who produced the uniforms, said the design is not intended to display splattered blood):
“If you sell this along with me, you should also be selling the rest of the military symbolism embrace of sports. Whether it’s the singing of a war anthem to open every game, whether it’s going to get a hotdog and being able to sign up for the Army at the same time, whether it’s the NFL’s embrace of the mythology of the Pat Tillman story. It has been going on in sports since the first National Anthem was played in the World Series back in 1917. It’s time for people to back away.”
When host Tony Reali seemed skeptical, Blackistone continued, “You are conflating a war anthem with a simple game. When you have military flyovers, and all the other military symbolism that goes on in sports, I think you’ve got a problem,” Blackistone answered.
Via Weasel Zippers.