Who knew that singing "God Bless America" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" inserted politics into sporting events? Who knew that "God Bless America" was a 'warmongering' song? Professor Stephen Mosher of Ithaca College in New York did.
Though the professor likes to claim that it is, the national anthem and "God Bless America" are not inherently political. It is those like Professor Mosher and those who refuse to stand for the national anthem who politicize it. When people go to a sporting event, they do not expect politics to be inserted into the game or match. Like the individuals in attendance who are looking to have a good time, our national anthem does not focus on one's party affiliation, race, ethnicity, or religion. It is meant to bring Americans together and gives us the time to reflect on our nation's principles. It is a time where barriers are brought down, not built up. It's a time where there is mutual respect between every sports fan in the stadium because, at that moment, we are reminded that we are all Americans and we have the freedom to gather together because of those who have fought and died to protect our country.
In an attempt to make a point, Professor Mosher also brings up the U.S. flag code and how the American flag can and cannot be used. The professor explains that the flag code does not allow for the American flag to be printed on clothing, to be used as an advertisement, to be displayed horizontally, or to be placed on an athletic uniform. While he is correct, what Professor Mosher does not do is distinguish between kneeling and protesting the national anthem and wearing American flag apparel. He takes motive out of the picture. While Americans adorn clothing with the American flag to show patriotism and pride, kneeling for the national anthem and complaining about "God Bless America" shows the opposite.
Professor Mosher doesn't stop there. He goes so far as to refer to those who want their fellow Americans to stand for the anthem as "jingoists" and states that these sporting events "serve to minimize what real patriotism looks like." However, the professor does not explain what "real patriotism" is or what it looks like. Apparently, patriotism involves complaining about "God Bless America" and not standing for the anthem with hand held over heart.
If America were to side with Professor Mosher and remove the nation's anthem and "God Bless America" from football stadiums, ballparks, hockey rinks, etc., when and where would we hear them? We would most likely only hear the anthem on the nation's three patriotic holidays; the 4th of July, Veteran's Day, and Memorial Day. The nation needs more than three times a year to show instances of unity. It hurts no one to come together as Americans on a regular basis as it reminds us not to take our freedoms for granted.
Professor Mosher states, "Imagine an Ithaca College athletic event without the national anthem."
I like to imagine a sporting event without whiny, divisive professors ruining the fun.