Standing for the National Anthem


“The Star Spangled Banner” was made the National Anthem in 1916 by congressional resolution on March 3, 1941, which was then signed by President Woodrow Wilson. However it was not until September 5th, 1918 that the “Star Spangled Banner” was played before sporting events. Back in the early 1900’s it was not a common occurrence to hear the “Star Spangled Banner” before sporting events, however that all changed at the opening game of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs on September 5, 1918. The atmosphere at that game was somber as the United States had entered WWI. Many Americans were dying overseas and the U.S. government announced that they were going to draft Major League Baseball players. Both the players and the fans were somber that day until the 7th inning of the game. At the 7th inning of the game, the U.S Navy band began to play the Star Spangled Banner. That is when Red Sox infielder, Fred Thomas, stood and saluted the American flag as the Anthem was playing. Following his example other players and fans put their hands over their hearts and sang the National Anthem, changing the mood of everyone. Since this day the National Anthem has been played before nearly all major sporting events in the United States.

However in recent times, there has been some controversy on the topic. Today many professional athletes choose to kneel for the National Anthem when it is played before an event as a way to protest police violence towards African Americans. They kneel for the Anthem as a way to protest and to express their beliefs. This issue has divided Americans, as about 50 percent of Americans agree while the other half disagrees.

I disagree with kneeling for the National Anthem but I believe that those who choose to kneel during the National Anthem have every right to do so. That is what makes the United States of America the greatest country in the world. The fact that we are allowed to protest peacefully is what makes being an American great. We, as Americans, are able to do so many things because our freedom is protected by a government that was made for the people and by the people. As Americans we can protest freely without the fear of persecution and we have the right to free speech among many other rights. So without a doubt, anyone who chooses to kneel for the Anthem has every right to do so. However that does not mean I agree with their actions. I feel that kneeling for the National Anthem is a direct insult to all the men and women who have served this country in order to protect our freedoms and the American way of life. I feel it is disrespecting all those who have lost their lives to defend our freedom and all those who risked their lives in service to this country. However we do live in a country that is like no other and has rights like no other, so no matter how much I disagree with their actions, it is their right as an American to kneel for the National Anthem.