ESPN Co-Host: Why Play the National Anthem At Sporting Events, Play the Beach Boys

ESPN Co-Host: Why Play the National Anthem At Sporting Events, Play the Beach Boys

Washed-up NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kicked off a trend of refusing to stand for the National Anthem and other athletes quickly followed suit. The Kaepernick stunt seems to have died down for the most part, especially with Kaepernick’s career having died afterwards, but some NFL players are still clinging to the protest. And ESPN co-host Tony Kornheiser has a solution to the entire problem: just stop playing the National Anthem!

Last week, the NFL preseason started and Michael Bennett and Marshawn Lynch both remained seated for the National Anthem. Monday, Kornheiser responded on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption.” But instead of discussing the protest itself, Kornheiser questioned why the National Anthem even needed to be played.

“If you don’t want to stand for the anthem, you don’t have to,” he said. “A lot of times I say it in half jest, but I’m getting to the point where it’s not even half jest anymore. I don’t even know why they play the anthem. I mean, play the Beach Boys. I like the Beach Boys.”

What Kornheiser doesn’t acknowledge is that the problem isn’t with the National Anthem — it’s with the players themselves and the NFL at-large. Thanks to the actions of these players, ratings for the NFL dropped precipitously last season. Many NFL fans responded in polls that the protests were part of the reason why they stopped watching and it’s not hard to understand why.

People watch sports for entertainment. And in a lot of ways, professional sports are a great equalizer: they bring together people of all walks of life, of all ethnicities, of all political persuasions. They give all of these different people something in common to root for and stand behind. But then, you have these players sowing more division and anger and hatred — it’s no wonder that people aren’t fans.

But leave it to a flaming liberal like Tony Kornheiser to completely misunderstand that and to try to get rid of the National Anthem instead of getting to the root of the problem.

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