At a recent baseball game a female police officer sung the national anthem and it raised a few eyebrows. Senior writer Howard Bryant from ESPN Magazine wrote in his column that he felt law enforcement officials should not be permitted to sing the national anthem before sporting events. Apparently people can be offended by anything. Today it’s patriotism.
Bryant argued that it amounts to staged patriotism which signifies an authoritarian shift at the baseball field. “Why don’t more athletes speak out on behalf of their communities? perhaps more of them would if there wasn’t a chilling force looming over them,” he said. Bryant seemingly is saying that African-American ball players should speak out against officers singing the national anthem just because they come from African-American communities. Which isn’t necessarily true and could be considered racist itself.
“Policing is clearly one of the most divisive issues in the country – except in the sports arena, where the post-9/11 hero narrative has been so deeply embedded within its game-day fabric that policing is seen as clean, heroic, uncomplicated. Following the marketing strategy of the military, police advocacy organizations have partnered with teams from all four major leagues to host ‘Law Enforcement Appreciation’ nights, or similar events,” wrote Bryant.
The reporter also notably had a problem with the way the Chicago Blackhawks recognized Veterans Day last year. Their isn’t anything he does not take offense to.
On a recent Fox and Friends segment the anchors debated the issue. Anna Kooiman compared Bryant’s outrage to people who take issue with kids saying the pledge of allegiance at achool. Urging viewers that their is nothing wrong with being patriotic.
Peter Doocy went so far as to say that Bryant’s opinions were inappropriate and out of place because, “People don’t go to ESPN for racially inflammatory political views, they want to hear about Steph Curry and whether his defense is any good.”