To protest how African- Americans are treated, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick did not stand for the national anthem before Friday’s preseason game.
Folks got angry.
Paratroopers drop into football stadiums, including in Orchard Park, with American flags festooned to their bodies and drrrrrrrrrrrrag them across the field at landing. The U.S. Flag Code, an actual federal law, mandates our flag never touch the ground. Yet fans cheer.
While covering the 1998 American Legion World Series in Las Vegas, a decorated officer informed me “The Star Spangled Banner” isn’t supposed to be applauded, that our anthem should be reflected upon solemnly, as with a church hymn.
We hoot and holler.
Even the overwrought versions, where the “artist” botches the words, are cheered.
Some fans insert self-centered intonations within the anthem. Americans pick and choose how to honor our flag, frequently opting for whatever is convenient or seems “badass” or makes us feel patriotic.
Kaepernick gave his reason. What’s yours?