I’m not surprised that several University of New Mexico football players knelt during the national anthem at halftime of their game against Air Force, becoming the first college football players to do so.
What I am surprised about is that somebody decided to have the anthem played at halftime, despite both head coaches agreeing not to do so.
Normally, college players are still in the locker room when the national anthem is performed before games. But because of weather-related delays both before and during the game, the anthem was not played prior to the opening kickoff. Instead, it was played at halftime, which was reduced to five minutes. Because of the reduced length of the halftime period, both teams stayed on the field rather than returning to the locker rooms as normal.
Lobos coach Bob Davie said he hadn’t been made aware that the national anthem would be played at halftime, let alone that any of his players would choose to kneel.
In fact, he said, he and Air Force Troy Calhoun had agreed that no national anthem would be played at all.
“I’d like to have the opportunity to visit with our players, talk about what our stance would be, unified as a football team,” Davie said. “I kind of got shocked by that.
“I wouldn’t want to judge or have too much of a critique, at least speaking from my standpoint, as far as a total football team. Because in fairness to them, I never really talked to them about it.”
It’s almost like somebody couldn’t stand leaving well enough alone.
If you’ve got an appetite, dig in.
To belabor a point I made in my previous post about Trump, the NFL and the national anthem (something that’s been largely ignored in the debate in the comments here), many of you who make the complaint in the header ignore the inconvenient history of organized sports’ involvement in politics.
Pete Rozelle, the commissioner of the NFL, and Spike Eckert and Bowie Kuhn, the commissioners of baseball, worked to put their sports on record in support of the Vietnam War, while laboring to silence those in the game who disagreed. While many believe that before the protests of the last year, the national anthem and other patriotic elements of sporting events symbolized unity, they are actually remnants of this campaign to interject sports into a bitterly divisive political debate.
Like it or not, sports isn’t some sort of safe zone from politics and it hasn’t been for some time.
When some of you tell me to stick to sports, what you’re really saying is that you want GTP to avoid the politics you don’t embrace. Sorry, but that isn’t how it works. Or at least it doesn’t appear to work that way when I see political observations injected into a comment thread about purely football posts. I don’t have a problem with that; it would be nice to see the same courtesy extended in the other direction. A little tolerance goes a long way, tone-wise.
Hey, how’s that whole “don’t mix politics and football” thing working out for some of you?
I guess Trump didn’t get the memo.
C’mon, Jerry Falwell, Jr. Can’t you keep politics out of college football?
Well, this is a beaut.
The truly great thing about this is that he didn’t even manage to use the right font for the “A”.
That’s the Braves’ font. Bless his heart, as we like to say in these parts.