Connect with us

Sports

Now is the time to stop playing the national anthem at sporting events – Yahoo News Canada

Published

on


For several reasons, now is the right time to stop playing the national anthem at sporting events. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

View photos

For several reasons, now is the right time to stop playing the national anthem at sporting events. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The moment was raw, powerful and maybe even a bit uncomfortable to watch — as if everyone was intruding on an intimate, private expression of pain.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”32″>The moment was raw, powerful and maybe even a bit uncomfortable to watch — as if everyone was intruding on an intimate, private expression of pain. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="There were no fans in the stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic, of course, but the NWSL played “The Star-Spangled Banner” over a loud speaker anyway, and the CBS television camera fixated on two players.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”33″>There were no fans in the stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic, of course, but the NWSL played “The Star-Spangled Banner” over a loud speaker anyway, and the CBS television camera fixated on two players. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Casey Short, a defender for the Chicago Red Stars who is Black, kneeled and sobbed as her teammate Julie Ertz, who is white, kneeled next to her and also cried. They hugged tightly, as if it would help them endure the 1 minute and 40 seconds of the anthem together.” data-reactid=”34″>Casey Short, a defender for the Chicago Red Stars who is Black, kneeled and sobbed as her teammate Julie Ertz, who is white, kneeled next to her and also cried. They hugged tightly, as if it would help them endure the 1 minute and 40 seconds of the anthem together.

Once the song hit its final flourish, they stood up, wiped the tears from their faces and were asked to go onto the field and try to win a soccer match, a jarring transition from deep-rooted real-life struggles to a literal game. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="It was an affecting moment that perhaps crystalized the meaning of kneeling during the anthem as well as any since Colin Kaepernick first did it in 2016.” data-reactid=”38″>It was an affecting moment that perhaps crystalized the meaning of kneeling during the anthem as well as any since Colin Kaepernick first did it in 2016.

It should’ve never happened.

It’s long overdue that all American sports leagues stop playing the national anthem before sporting events — and now is the perfect time to put a stop to this outdated, misguided practice.

<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Why now is right time for sports to stop playing the anthem” data-reactid=”41″>Why now is right time for sports to stop playing the anthem

When was the last time you went to a movie and, after the previews, everyone stood to salute the flag? What about “Jeopardy!” tapings? Does the audience belt out the anthem before the shows begin? Before the main act at a concert, should they play a recording of the national anthem first?

It never made sense to play the national anthem before games in American sports leagues. And yet, all of them do it. The NBA, the NFL and, yes, even the NWSL all force their players to line up and sing to an American flag before they are allowed to do their jobs.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="It’s worth considering where this tradition came from. As the story goes, the crowd at the World Series in 1918 was somber as World War I dragged on. The band at the stadium played “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the seventh-inning stretch, and it breathed new life into the crowd, helping cement the tradition.” data-reactid=”44″>It’s worth considering where this tradition came from. As the story goes, the crowd at the World Series in 1918 was somber as World War I dragged on. The band at the stadium played “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the seventh-inning stretch, and it breathed new life into the crowd, helping cement the tradition.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="There are no crowds today due to the pandemic. And if leagues still play the anthem even though there are no crowds, who is it for? Is it for the Pentagon, who since 2012 has spent millions of taxpayer dollars for paid propaganda at sporting events (especially NFL games) as a military recruiting tool? Does anyone even know anymore?” data-reactid=”45″>There are no crowds today due to the pandemic. And if leagues still play the anthem even though there are no crowds, who is it for? Is it for the Pentagon, who since 2012 has spent millions of taxpayer dollars for paid propaganda at sporting events (especially NFL games) as a military recruiting tool? Does anyone even know anymore?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Regardless, it’s an old tradition and we’re living in an unprecedented time when tradition is being thrown out the window. From the NBA to MLB, sports leagues are planning pandemic-proof events that require fresh approaches designed from scratch.” data-reactid=”46″>Regardless, it’s an old tradition and we’re living in an unprecedented time when tradition is being thrown out the window. From the NBA to MLB, sports leagues are planning pandemic-proof events that require fresh approaches designed from scratch.

Everything about these upcoming tournaments is new, from the locations to the scheduling to the formats to the media coverage. So why should the pregame routine of playing the anthem stay the same?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="MLS, which has its own one-off tournament set to begin July 8, has already ruled out playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at games. It’s not because the league has as many foreign-born players as it does Americans and it’s weird to force them to participate in American patriotism. No, it’s because of the tradition’s roots: the crowds.” data-reactid=”48″>MLS, which has its own one-off tournament set to begin July 8, has already ruled out playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at games. It’s not because the league has as many foreign-born players as it does Americans and it’s weird to force them to participate in American patriotism. No, it’s because of the tradition’s roots: the crowds.

“We won’t be playing the anthems,” MLS commissioner Don Garber told reporters earlier this month. “There won’t be any fans in the stands so we didn’t see that it would be appropriate.” 

The fans, of course, will return one day. But if leagues use this opportunity to stop playing the national anthem, they can normalize having sports without it.

After all, traditions evolve over time. They come, they go, they change. Sometimes it takes unusual circumstances to push that evolution along. A global pandemic may be as good a nudge as any to finally get rid of the anthem at sporting events.

Casey Short and Julie Ertz's embrace during the national anthem on Saturday was undeniably powerful. But why was Short put in that position in the first place? (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)Casey Short and Julie Ertz's embrace during the national anthem on Saturday was undeniably powerful. But why was Short put in that position in the first place? (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

View photos

Casey Short and Julie Ertz’s embrace during the national anthem on Saturday was undeniably powerful. But why was Short put in that position in the first place? (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Athletes can still protest racial oppression” data-reactid=”76″>Athletes can still protest racial oppression

Whether the anthem is played or not, Short, Ertz and any other NWSL player has the right to protest systemic racism in this country. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The NWSL on Saturday became the first professional team sports league to return since the killing of George Floyd, and the players were mindful of the platform they had.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”78″>The NWSL on Saturday became the first professional team sports league to return since the killing of George Floyd, and the players were mindful of the platform they had. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="They wore Black Lives Matter shirts during pregame warm-ups, and wore black armbands during the game. Before kickoff, they kneeled in a planned moment of silence. They weren’t going to avoid using their voices to draw attention to the cause — and that is to the players’ credit.” data-reactid=”79″>They wore Black Lives Matter shirts during pregame warm-ups, and wore black armbands during the game. Before kickoff, they kneeled in a planned moment of silence. They weren’t going to avoid using their voices to draw attention to the cause — and that is to the players’ credit.

But playing the national anthem was ultimately the choice of the NWSL and (presumably) CBS. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The NWSL’s spokespeople did not respond to an email Sunday from Yahoo Sports asking why the anthem was played before games in empty stadiums. But the league was quick to share the image of Short crying on social media and in sponsored content, which felt more exploitative than empowering.” data-reactid=”81″>The NWSL’s spokespeople did not respond to an email Sunday from Yahoo Sports asking why the anthem was played before games in empty stadiums. But the league was quick to share the image of Short crying on social media and in sponsored content, which felt more exploitative than empowering.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Indeed, much of the news coverage and social media discussion around the Red Stars game was about the moment shared between Short and Ertz. And also about Rachel Hill, a white Red Stars player who stood next to Short even as all her teammates kneeled. The game itself became an afterthought.” data-reactid=”82″>Indeed, much of the news coverage and social media discussion around the Red Stars game was about the moment shared between Short and Ertz. And also about Rachel Hill, a white Red Stars player who stood next to Short even as all her teammates kneeled. The game itself became an afterthought.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Short shared several thoughtful messages on fighting systemic racism on Twitter earlier this month, so we already have an idea of how she feels. The Red Stars did not make Short available to the media after Saturday’s game,&nbsp;and she has not yet spoken publicly about the moment.” data-reactid=”83″>Short shared several thoughtful messages on fighting systemic racism on Twitter earlier this month, so we already have an idea of how she feels. The Red Stars did not make Short available to the media after Saturday’s game, and she has not yet spoken publicly about the moment.

She doesn’t need to. It’s her moment, not ours, and the NWSL never should’ve made her go through it on live television.

The question of whether the anthem should be played at sporting events is separate from asking whether players have the right to kneel during the anthem, and whether those displays are important.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Short’s display of emotion was powerful and important, especially in light of President Trump disgustingly retweeting a video that featured one of his supporters chanting “white power” the next day.&nbsp;(Trump later deleted the retweet.)” data-reactid=”86″>Short’s display of emotion was powerful and important, especially in light of President Trump disgustingly retweeting a video that featured one of his supporters chanting “white power” the next day. (Trump later deleted the retweet.)

It’s also not Short’s responsibility, or the responsibility of any Black person, to suffer through trauma in front of a live audience so ignorant people can realize that racial oppression is real. It’s not fair to push her to be the symbol of the Black experience when she’s just trying to do her job.  

Short is more than just a Black woman. She is a darn good soccer player who deserves a spot on the U.S. national team. She was robbed of the chance to show the world that on Saturday.

Red Stars coach Rory Dames gave this assessment of his team’s performance after a 2-1 loss:

“The emotions you saw Casey have prior to the game, and probably Julie at that point as well, a majority of our team has been having those kinds of emotions all day,” he said, “struggling with what was the right thing to do or how do you show solidarity, and how do you support the Black Lives Matter movement and what’s going on.”

“I would say we were pretty emotionally spent before we got here.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="If the pregame anthem causes that much anxiety and disruption within a team, is it worth doing? The players, after all, had prepared their own protests and gestures to support the Black Lives Matter movement, and it was on their own terms.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”92″>If the pregame anthem causes that much anxiety and disruption within a team, is it worth doing? The players, after all, had prepared their own protests and gestures to support the Black Lives Matter movement, and it was on their own terms. 

There was something different about the anthem — something that struck a deeper chord. It’s worth revisiting Colin Kaepernick’s explanation after he first declined to stand for the anthem in 2016. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”” data-reactid=”94″>“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="In light of the killing of Floyd and other unarmed Black people in recent years, Kaepernick’s sentiment is as relevant as ever. The truth some people don’t want to accept is that the flag and the anthem can’t mean the same thing for everyone if America’s institutions don’t protect everyone the same way.&nbsp;&nbsp;” data-reactid=”95″>In light of the killing of Floyd and other unarmed Black people in recent years, Kaepernick’s sentiment is as relevant as ever. The truth some people don’t want to accept is that the flag and the anthem can’t mean the same thing for everyone if America’s institutions don’t protect everyone the same way.  

At its heart, playing the national anthem at sporting events is a purely symbolic gesture. All symbols can change their meaning over time, and since 2016, the meaning of this one has changed significantly.

It’s time for leagues to acknowledge that. Once they do, the next course of action is clear.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More from Yahoo Sports:” data-reactid=”98″>More from Yahoo Sports:

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

NHL, players’ association reach tentative agreement on protocols to resume season

Published

on

The NHL and NHL Players’ Association agreed Sunday on protocols to resume the season, a major step toward the return of hockey this summer.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press there was an agreement on protocols for training camps and games and the sides are still negotiating an extension of the collective bargaining agreement, which is crucial to the process.

A person with knowledge of the situation said the return-to-play protocols would only go into effect if each side votes to approve the full package of the CBA extension and return-to-play agreement. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because CBA talks are still ongoing.

To complete a return, two-thirds of the league’s board of governors and majorities of the players’ executive committee and full membership must vote in favour.

If everything is ratified, it will end a pandemic-forced shutdown that began in mid-March. Games would resume in late July or early August with 24 teams taking part in an expanded playoffs, finishing with the Stanley Cup being awarded in October.

The agreement was first reported by TSN.

The 47 pages of protocols outline the health and safety measures the league and players agreed to after several weeks of negotiations. Any player has until 5 p.m. EDT on Tuesday to notify his team if he’s choosing to opt out of participating in training camp and games, with an additional deadline expected after ratification of the agreement.

For those playing, each team is limited to 30 skaters and an unlimited amount of goaltenders for camp and total roster of up to 31 players for games. Each team is limited to 52 personnel in its game city, a group that must include two trainers, a doctor and compliance officer in addition players, coaches and management.

They are expected to be quarantined from the general public during play at least for the qualifying and first two traditional playoff rounds. Family members will be permitted to join when play is moved to one city for the conference finals and Stanley Cup Final.

All team and league employees plus hotel, restaurant and arena staff coming in contact with players will be tested daily in the two “hub” cities.

One player’s positive coronavirus test result is not expected to shut down play entirely. The league has said it would isolate any player or staff member who tests positive, acknowledging an outbreak would threaten the remainder of the season.

“The players will be pretty well-protected from being exposed,” Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson said during a conference call in June. “It’s going to be a completely different way for you all and us watching hockey and being around a team because players will be really well protected throughout the process.”

The protocols include a provision for Commissioner Gary Bettman in consultation with NHLPA executive director Don Fehr to postpone, delay or cancel games in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Assuming the protocols are approved, teams are expected to open training camps July 13 before travelling to the two hub cities for games. Players have been able to skate and train off-ice in voluntary, small-group workouts since June 8 — nearly three months after hockey was halted March 12 with 189 regular-season games remaining.

Returning for the playoffs is seen as a stirring victory for the NHL, which like other top leagues faced the prospect of losing millions more without the television revenue tied to the post-season. There were deep concerns about cancelling the rest of the season and word of positive tests didn’t help: 26 players since June 8, in addition to almost a dozen before that.

Boston defenceman Matt Grzelcyk called the positive test results “eye-opening” but expected. A few players expressed concerns in recent weeks about the uncertainty surrounding a return.

“We have obviously a unique situation right now,” Montreal goaltender Carey Price said. “The NHL and the NHLPA are trying to make the best of a very difficult situation. Moving forward I’d like to play, but we have a lot of questions that need to be answered and a lot of scenarios that need to be covered.”

If the protocols and an CBA extension cover those scenarios for enough owners and players, there will be a path forward to hand out the Stanley Cup. Only twice since 1893 has the Cup not been awarded: in 1919, when the final couldn’t be completed because of the Spanish flu pandemic, and 2005 when the season was wiped out by a lockout.

 

 

Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

NHL, NHLPA tentatively agree on protocols to resume play as CBA talks continue – Sportsnet.ca

Published

on


The NHL and NHLPA have tentatively agreed on protocols to resume play, Sportsnet can confirm. The two sides continue to negotiate an extension to the collective bargaining agreement.

Once a CBA extension is agreed upon, the NHL’s board of governors and the full membership of the NHLPA will vote on both the extension and the return-to-play protocols that were agreed to on Sunday.

The newly agreed-upon protocols cover Phase 3 and 4 of the NHL’s return-to-play plan. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, this includes a framework for how the return-to-play would be called off if the COVID-19 virus cannot be contained.

According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, the return-to-play protocols include an opt-out clause for any player that does not want to resume play this season without penalty. He adds that coaches will not be required to wear face coverings on the bench during games and no dress code will be imposed upon players on game day.

Friedman also reports that the return-to-play protocols include a framework for how the league’s two hub cities will be enforced.

“Individuals leaving… without permission may be subject to consequences up to and including removal,” Friedman reports the agreement as saying, adding “violations… will result in, for clubs, significant penalties, potentially including fines and/or loss of draft choices.”

Additionally, Friedman reports that all players will undergo “a Pre-Participation Medical Examination.” If the doctor administring the exam and the team’s infectious disease expert determine a player is unfit to return to play due to the “substantial risk of developing a serious illness” from COVID-19, that player may seek a second opinion.

In May, the NHL and NHLPA agreed to a framework for what return to play would look like and the two sides have been negotiating finer details ever since. The return-to-play format will see 24 teams return to the ice in two hub cities, each hosting one conference. The top four teams in each conference by points percentage at the time of the season pause in March will play each other to determine playoff seeding. The next eight teams in each conference have been paired up based on points percentage and will play best-of-five series to determine the other playoff spots.

The NHL initially was considering 10 cities to be hubs for these games, with Edmonton and Toronto expected to be chosen.

The NHL’s return plan has been broken down into four stages. Phase 1 began shortly after the season was suspended and saw all team facilities closed and players allowed to return home. Phase 2 began June 8 and is ongoing, with players allowed to return to team facilities to skate in small groups after testing negative for COVID-19. According to the NHL, from June 8 to 29, more than 250 players were tested under Phase 2 protocols and 15 tested positive. Additionally, 11 players tested positive outside of Phase 2 protocols in that same time period.

Phase 3 of the return plan would cover training camps for the returning teams and eventual travel to the hub cities while Phase 4 would cover playing games. Specific dates for the beginning of these phases won’t be determined until the CBA negotiation is complete and the board of governors and NHLPA membership approve the plans and CBA in a vote.

With files from The Associated Press

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

NHL, NHLPA agree on protocols to resume season – CBC.ca

Published

on


The NHL and NHL Players’ Association agreed Sunday on protocols to resume the season, a major step toward the return of hockey this summer.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press there was an agreement on protocols for training camps and games and the sides are still negotiating an extension of the collective bargaining agreement, which is crucial to the process.

A person with knowledge of the situation said the return-to-play protocols would only go into effect if each side votes to approve the full package of the CBA extension and return-to-play agreement. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because CBA talks are still ongoing.

To complete a return, two-thirds of the league’s board of governors and majorities of the players’ executive committee and full membership must vote in favour.

If everything is ratified, it will end a pandemic-forced shutdown that began in mid-March. Games would resume in late July or early August with 24 teams taking part in an expanded playoffs, finishing with the Stanley Cup being awarded in October.

The agreement was first reported by TSN.

Assuming approval from owners and players, teams are expected to open training camps July 13 before travelling to two “hub” cities for games. Players have been able to skate and train off-ice in voluntary, small-group workouts since June 8 — nearly three months after hockey was halted March 12 with 189 regular-season games remaining.

Returning for the playoffs is seen as a stirring victory for the NHL, which like other top leagues faced the prospect of losing millions more without the television revenue tied to the post-season. There were deep concerns about cancelling the rest of the season and word of positive tests didn’t help: 26 players since June 8, in addition to almost a dozen before that.

Boston defenceman Matt Grzelcyk called the positive test results “eye-opening” but expected. A few players expressed concerns in recent weeks about the uncertainty surrounding a return.

“We have obviously a unique situation right now,” Montreal goaltender Carey Price said. “The NHL and the NHLPA are trying to make the best of a very difficult situation. Moving forward I’d like to play, but we have a lot of questions that need to be answered and a lot of scenarios that need to be covered before I could vote yay or nay.”

Once play resumes, one player’s positive coronavirus test result is not expected to shut down play entirely. The league has said it would isolate any player or staff member who tests positive, acknowledging an outbreak would threaten the remainder of the season.

The league will be in charge of testing players daily once they get to their game city.

“The players will be pretty well-protected from being exposed,” Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson said during a conference call in June. “It’s going to be a completely different way for you all and us watching hockey and being around a team because players will be really well protected throughout the process.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending