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In general, this article argues that playing the National Anthem at American sporting events is irrelevant and, in fact, not normal in comparison to other countries- it even has turned political. It can be seen as unnecessary and be used for promotion rather than patriotism. This article cuts deeper into this argument using an example from an NFL player who refuses to stand like the rest of his team, opponents, and everyone in the stadium because he feels the flag and National Anthem is a symbol of oppression and how he is justified in not supporting this tradition. Beauchamp writes, “ Playing the National Anthem isn’t an honor for the nation in any meaningful sense; it’s turning ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ into an advertising jingle.” He is suggesting that we not say the National Anthem to begin national sporting events.
From my perspective, Beauchamp is wrong because standing in front of our flag saying our National Anthem is a privilege. Playing the National Anthem before sporting events is an opportunity we have to honor our country and those who fought and are fighting to keep us safe and free. It is beyond me how any American can selfishly turn this around to make it about themselves. We are paying respect to our country each and every time we look at those fifty stars and thirteen stripes, proclaiming “The Star-Spangled Banner”. Although Beauchamp may say that playing the National Anthem before sporting events is irrelevant, I stand to believe that professing our love and support for our country will never be irrelevant. Seeing as the tradition began at a baseball World Series in 1918 during WWI to show our patriotism, I conclude that there is nothing offensive or wrong with the tradition of honoring our country with the playing of the National Anthem to begin sporting events.

Allisen Grabowski

America has made it traditional to play the national anthem before sports events since 1916, officially in 1931, according to Beauchamp. Beauchamp disputes the reason behind the national anthem being played before sports events. He argues that playing the national anthem before a sporting event is not showing any form of patriotism, but has become an “advertising jingle.” Beauchamp uses professional athlete Kaepernick as an example in his article. Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem, because he says, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” What he fails to realize it the national anthem is patriotic and represent America’s freedom.
Beauchamp suggest that there is no reason to play the national anthem before sports events. He believes that the national anthem is utilized for a profit. In relation to other countries he comments on the idea that other countries do not participate in their own particular anthem. With that being said, America has fought many wars and as a contribution to the men fighting for Americas freedom, “The Star Spangled Banner” was implemented into sporting events as a show of patriotism and solidarity among all Americans.
In conclusion, Kaepernick has the right to express is feelings about the unfortunate circumstances that occur in our country which makes some people of color feel disengaged from our country, but his approach is neither beneficial, nor appropriate for adolescences growing up in our country and understanding what the national anthem truly means. Also, not having the national anthem played at sporting events will break the tradition that has been instilled upon Americans for many decades.

Abiodun Omiyale

After reading this article, there is no doubt that the writer, Zack Beauchamp, supported the point that the United States national anthem should not be played before domestic sport events in the United Sates. Beauchamp expressed his dissatisfaction by responding to the claim of some people that it is an act of unpatriotic to disrespect the American flag; he stated that ‘it’s actually not normal, internationally speaking, to play national anthem before a domestics sporting event’. He supported his view by comparing US with other countries in the world that do not play their national anthem before domestic sport events. He dismisses the fact that playing the US national anthem before a domestic sporting event is a way of showing loyalty and respect to the country. Beauchamp drew an example from an event when a NFL player ( Colin Kaepernick) refuses to stand when US national anthem was being played prior to the start of the game.

I totally disagree with Beauchamp on the point that it is not normal to play the national anthem before sporting events in the United States because other countries in the world do not do it. I don’t believe that US should use other countries in the world as their standard when it comes to respecting their country. Also, I do not believe that ‘non Americans find all the patriotic spectacle in American sports baffling’. Honestly speaking, there are so many countries in the world that are actually looking up to America in various ways. I am a Nigerian by birth and an American by naturalization, one of the things that I love most about US is their patriotism to the flag (the star spangle banner), Beauchamp’s notion that ‘Americans aren’t more patriotic than foreigners’ is not totally true. It is normal to find citizen of a particular country to be unpatriotic, but that does not mean that the whole country is unpatriotic; but I can confidently say that American are more patriotic than most other countries in the world.

Knowing the history behind the star spangle banner is very touching, and I believe it is enough reason to give honor and respect to this great nation. If playing the National anthem at a sport event is one of the ways to remembering those who have fought and laid down their lives to keep Americans safe, why does it have to stop because of the feeling of an individual. The families of those who laid down their lives for this country deserve the honor.

Moreover, no country is perfect. Everyone living in the US states understands that race is one of the big issues facing this country. There are people who believe that everyone is creation equal, and there are people who believe that some set of people are better than the other. Even though discrimination is against the law in the US, it is very obvious that its existence has not been eradicated. However, we can ask ourselves one question, is everybody in the US racist? The answer is no; we can not make a general conclusion that a particular group is racist. Disrespecting the national anthem based on the notion that certain group of people are being treated unfairly in my opinion is not the right way to act. I believe there are so many other ways available to an individual to make his feeling known rather hurting everyone including the family of the patriotic individuals who have died fighting for the safety of this great country.

In conclusion, I give credit to Kaepernick for standing up for his people. Honestly, it is heartbroken to think about how black people and people of color are been oppressed in this country. I think Kaepernick should have choose another way to exhibit his dissatisfaction, rather that taking it out on what is meant to be the symbol of the entire country.

Abiodun omiyale



Colin should protest off the field. I'm okay with him protesting but don't bring into the NFL. There is already enough drama in professional sports now, we don't need to add more. All i'm saying is leave the protesting off the field.

Carol Roberts

I am very intrigued by the information I did not know about the national anthem: that it was not "official" until 1931, that its tune is a "drinking song." A drinking song? Really?

Leah Fridley

I agree with Zach in that its kind of lost its relevance at sports events. I also feel like, when is it ever wrong to sing the National Anthem? Just because we don't do it for the same reason that we started with, it still brings a feeling of freedom and pride, standing for what it means to be an American citizen.


Yes i think the national anthem should be played at more events more than sport wise. Because everyone in anything they do should always remember theres people out there fighting for us and we should be grateful and respect that. The national anthem should be played anywhere at almost every event just to show our respect to the people that fight for us. No it should not matter how many people are there in the present moment because everyones being fought for so everyone deserves the right to be there when is being played.


I am offended by the critics of Colin Kaepernick and others who didn't stand during the national anthem. To say that the act is unpatriotic is unpatriotic. Primarily for the reason American citizens have the right to protest and freedom of speech. It is appalling that some Americans are so outraged at some people for not standing during the national anthem but turn a blind eye to the injustices that is going on in our country. Especially considering how many Americans are either on their phones or talking during the anthem and they are not chastised as harshly or not at all. Playing the anthem is not a mandated thing at sporting events as the article says so why should people be judged so harshly for not standing for it. This behavior does not make you unpatriotic, it's actually a very patriotic act because you are excercising your right to free speech.


It is plain and simple: if you live in the United States then you participate in the National Anthem. By this I do not mean that you have to sing it and whatnot but be respectful. This whole "black lives matter" protest is nonsense because there have been altercations between black cops and white people but it is not publicized all over the news. If you do not want to respect the National Anthem then get out of America.

Caroline Scobee

I agree and disagree with Sheena. She makes a strong point when she mentions that people are on their phone or talking during the national anthem and aren’t judged for doing so. But I disagree with the fact that people who say that Colin Kaepernick’s actions are unpatriotic are unpatriotic. When the article mentions that individuals referred to Kaepernick’s actions as making him seem, “unpatriotic, anti-American, and ungrateful to a country that allowed him to succeed” it is entirely true. The National Anthem is intended to honor military personnel who have risked their lives ensuring the safety of our country. By kneeling during this, it demonstrates that Kaepernick doesn’t care about these individuals sacrifice for his personal freedom. It is disrespectful, and while others may talk during the national anthem, they are not intentionally disregarding the anthem as whole.


I completely agree with Carolina Scobee. Although there may be problems in America and things people such as Colin Kaepernick may not agree with, that doesn't mean that he should disrespect the people who gave their lives so he could play football. Without the brave men and women who fight for the United States everyday, Colin Kaepernick would not be a multi million dollar NFL quarterback. He may disagree with things happening in our society, but that does not mean he should convey his concerns by disrespecting those who have fought for, are fighting for, and died for his and our freedom. In the article it says, "It is not mandated to play the national anthem before sporting events" and it shouldn't have to be. Everyone should be grateful for those who fight for our country. People can demonstrate their freedom of speech as much as they would like, but be tasteful. Colin is not breaking any laws or rules, he is just being disrespectful, distasteful, and ungrateful. If Kaepernick wants to make a difference then he should do that instead of generating publicity.


I strongly agree to all of the responses to Beauchamp’s article. I completely understand that Kaepernick has the opportunity to protest for what he believes is right, however; I believe he is taking a wrong approach to addressing it. I agree with the other bloggers when they express that they disagree with Beauchamp who thinks it is not normal to play the national anthem before sporting events. I believe that it should be played before all events to honor and show respect to the people who risk their lives every day for our country. Soldiers put everything they have on the line for the betterment of the country; standing up and showing gratitude for the veterans is the least us Americans can do to repay them.

Nick McGarry

I agree with what many of the responders said, including Caroline and Sam. The national anthem is much more than a song that Americans can stand for, it is meant to represent and support the individuals that have gone out of their way in order to protect this beloved country. This is slightly different than the position of the author, as it seems that he is indifferent to the act of standing to the national anthem, or even the playing of the national anthem at all in sporting events. I think this thought is out of line however. Although some professional athletes may use it as their pushing off point for political movements, it means so much to the American population and that should not be taken away or restricted in any way. I do not have a problem with these athletes making stances against politics, but don’t disrespect the people that protect this right in the process.

Aaron Rutherford

After reading this article it's very clear that the author, Beauchamp, sees the national anthem as just a "song that is played before games" as he has said in his article. This leads to his argument, which is that the national anthem being sang or played before sporting events should not happen. As shown all throughout his article he gives vital points as to how the national anthem being played before sporting events is creating many problems. The major problem being in the news very frequently now is that Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, is taking a knee instead of standing for the national anthem. In Beauchamp's eyes, this should not be a problem because of the fact that the national anthem shouldn't even be played before games. In my opinion, I like that the national anthem is played before games because it brings the people of the United States together. I'm not saying that I don't agree with what Kaepernick is trying to do because I do agree with his movement that he is creating but, the national anthem has been one of the symbols of the United States since 1916. It is one thing that no matter who you are or what you stand for as an American, all people can come together to give back to the people that gave us the opportunity to do the great things that we do in our everyday life. So yes, I will say that the country is not perfect and there are things that need to be changed but, we should all come together and acknowledge one of the two main symbols of the United States which are the national anthem and the American Flag.

Jake Gilmore

The points are very true of what Maggie and Abiodun are saying. It is a privilege to be able to say the national anthem before our sporting events. I strongly disagree with what Beauchamp is saying in this article. Although not many other countries do this before sporting events why does that mean what we do differently is weird. Every country shows patriotism differently. The real reason we play the national anthem before sporting events is because win or lose we are still reminded at the end of the day that we live in a great country where are military fights for us to be safe in our borders. The least we can do is stand and sing our national anthem because if it wasn't for our military then we wouldn't be having the freedom we have today to stand for what we believe in. Maggie in her article is completely right in saying that Beauchamp is wrong in saying that sing the national anthem is irrelevant because truly the national anthem will never be irrelevant. A little thing such as singing the national anthem before sporting events goes a long way for our military. People need to stop being selfish and show that you are supporting our country and military.
In conclusion, I believe the points that Maggie and Abiodun bring up are very true and that what Beauchamp is saying is very untrue. The national anthem is not a waste of time or irrelevant. It a symbol and a reminder that we live safely in this country because of our military. The reason people can sit safely and watch a football game on a Sunday is because of our military. The least we can do is to stand and sing our national anthem.


After reading the article the author Zack Beauchamp clearly takes the side of not playing the national anthem at sporting events. Zack goes on to say how unnecessary it is. He believes the only reason the NFL does it is for money. What is more striking to him it seems is the fact that Kaepernick is so ridiculed for his choice to not stand. Zach thinks you should not feel the need to stand for the national anthem at sporting events because he believes it to be unnecessary. I agree with maggie on the stance that the national anthem is much more than just a song and it is a way for us to show our appreciation for the sacrifice others have made so we can continue life as we know it. The ability to turn it around about yourself is selfish and although you have the right to protest in the greatest country on earth there are better ways to go about it.


Author Zack Beauchamp’s article is about his views on the Colin Kaepernick situation, and whether or not it is right of the quarterback to take a knee during the national anthem before each game. But instead of specifically talking about his own opinion the entire time, Beauchamp uses the history of the national anthem to support his argument. He first mentions how the “Star-Spangled Banner” originated right before the start of World War I and how it carried right into sporting events, beginning with the 1918 World Series. World War II came years later, and this was the point where “the national anthem became a staple of every game.” Why? Because the two World Wars “were massive military undertakings, which required enormous mobilization of civilians to support the war effort,” and the Star-Spangled Banner is what resonated patriotism within the American people to help support the military during these trying times. Beauchamp goes on to say that the national anthem is an “advertisement for NFL football,” and that the anthem shouldn’t even be played in the first place, because it’s not played for the right reasons.
I disagree with Beauchamp, and with what Kaepernick is doing. First off, I completely agree with Abiodun’s comment about how knowing the anthem’s history is “enough reason to give honor and respect to this great nation.” Beauchamp put a lot of time and effort into this article, and the fact that people don’t want to stand for an anthem that single-handedly symbolizes America and its history is a shame. Secondly, I disagree with Sheena, because the flag that Kaepernick is kneeling towards is the flag that gives him the right to kneel in the first place. Yes, he technically has the right to kneel because of “Freedom of Speech” and what not, but protest in a more respectful way. America gives him the right to protest, and he is disrespecting that right. It’s contradictory to the whole idea of what he is trying to do in the first place.
Overall, I believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem because it is the song that makes America stand out. No other country plays their anthem before sporting events, so America is unique in doing so. I am not blind to the fact that there are problems in today’s society, but to protest on a national stage in the manner in which Kaepernick is doing so is not right. By all means, he has the right to protest, and with the media coverage that NFL plays get, he could have done so in many different ways. But kneeling to the flag is disrespectful to the country that Colin Kaepernick lives in, and he is disrespecting all of the citizens and military members and government officials who stand and live by the flag every day.

Emma H

I must respectfully disagree with Sheena’s response to Beauchamp’s article. While I must acknowledge that Sheena rightfully states that people are “exercising [the] right to free speech”, it is our obligation as Americans to support all of the men and women who died before us in wars to fight for our freedom. I firmly believe that playing the Star-Spangled Banner is a tradition which should last as long as America remains a country. Future generations should understand that people worked extremely hard to build this country that they live in and influence. The fact that soldiers sacrificed their lives for the wellbeing of others serves as motivating factor to keep America united and strong as a unit. Kaepernick does in fact have the right to express his beliefs, but I believe it is morally unjust to do so in such a public manner. Ultimately, Kaepernick would not have the opportunity to play in the NFL, earn money, and be successful without the Americans who fought in war for this country and became the basis of the national anthem.

Clay Sellers

Though I will concede that Sheena is accurate in saying that we have the right to exercise our freedom of speech, I respectfully disagree with her opinion that not standing for the national anthem is not unpatriotic. Kaepernick chose to attack a national symbol of the freedoms that our country is privileged to have. While Beauchamp states that “there was no major social need to weave militarism” into everyday life post-war, that certainly does not invite us to forget the sacrifices that soldiers make and are currently making so that fans and players alike have the privilege to enjoy sports event. And while Beauchamp cites that “you don’t hear ‘God Save the Queen’ before English Premier League matches” as a reason for why we should not play the national anthem, since when has our country ever decided to conform to the societal norms of other countries? The United States of America was created to escape British oppression, and the patriotism that spawned a new country 240 years ago has every right to be proudly worn on the sleeve of every American. Whether or not Kaepernick agrees standing for the national anthem, he is certainly enjoying the privileges that it stands for along with the millions of other Americans who love the sport that he so dearly loves too.

Dylan G

In the article “Kaepernick didn’t bring politics into sports. The NFL did that by playing the anthem” by Zack Beauchamp, the author asserts that the playing of the national anthem is nothing more than “a marketing tool” for the respective league that plays it. He goes further to assert that “patriotism in professional sports isn’t actually about patriotism” and brings that even further by saying “it’s turning ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ into an advertising jingle.” In other words, the author believes that the NFL amongst other sports leagues, only play the national anthem in order to draw more people to their sport, thus enhancing their monetary gain. The author calls on this historical background of the anthem’s playing to further enforce that the playing of the anthem is all about politics and not American pride. The author references that the first time the anthem was played in a sports game, was during WWI because the government needed support from its people in order to finance the war. He uses this point to show that current leagues only use it as a marketing tool because there is no other purpose for it, in his eyes. In conclusion, this author believes that the only reason that leagues play the anthem is for politics and as a marketing tool to gain the most amount of customers.
I whole-heartedly disagree with the points that this author is making. I believe that the playing of the national anthem is a point of pride for many Americans. From my perspective, the anthem is played at sports games amongst other places, in order to call respect to those who have died fighting for the country and to honor the people who made it possible to be able to attend the current sports event. Beauchamp’s point of other nations don’t play their anthems so why should we seems like a stretch. I believe that as a whole, we should not follow what other countries do. Playing the anthem before sports events is a tradition ingrained in our culture and why should we change it just because other people don’t do it to. In conclusion, I view the National Anthem as a paying of respects to the country’s past soldiers and a reminder that not everything is guaranteed, somebody had to die in order for me to attend whichever event I am at and they deserve to be respected. The playing of the anthem is so much more than a simple “marketing tool.”

ever collette

In journalist Zach Beauchamp’s article “Keapernick didn’t bring politics into sports. The NFL did that by playing the National Anthem,” he argues that although there has been outrage over the actions of San Francisco 49ers player, Colin Kaepernick, there is no reason to place blame on the quarterback. At the start of the season, Kaepernick started to kneel during the national anthem in order to protest injustice in America, which the author believes is a valid action. According to Beauchamp, critics have no right to be upset about Kaepernick’s protest because the National Anthem is only used in sports culture so that big businesses like the NFL can use the idea of patriotism for their own gain of publicity and to make more money. He points out that the use of the National Anthem at sporting events was originally to encourage people to support the troops fighting in World Wars’ I and II or maybe even join the military, but that at this point in time it is essentially useless, saying “the idea that [Kaepernick] should have to stand, or even listen to the National Anthem at all, is much stranger than most Americans think it is,” (Beauchamp). In the author’s eyes, Kaepernick’s actions are completely defendable and the NFL is to blame for the political outrage over the importance of the National Anthem.
In my opinion, the author’s view of the situation at hand is completely absurd. Not only are Colin Kaepernick’s actions inexcusable, they are also extremely disrespectful. While the author views the National Anthem as a scheme for sports leagues to gain both popularity and money, it is my firm belief that we play the National Anthem at sporting events in order to show respect to those in our armed forces. We stand so that we may honor all those that we have lost and all those who have fought or are still fighting for our rights as American citizens. I would not mind if Kaepernick stood up for what he believes in, but I am upset that he is disrespecting the people who made this very action possible. In conclusion, I completely disagree with both the ideas that Beauchamp presents in his article and Kaepernick’s protest of the Anthem.


I agree with Adbiodun Omiyale who claims that even though America is not perfect in the culture and treatment of certain groups, it does not mean that we get to disrespect such a symbol as the national anthem. It stands for the freedom of our nation and as a sign of respect to all those that have fought and died for that freedom. It is not right to use this symbol as one of protest. While I do think that Kaepernick has the Constitutional right to protest the treatment of African Americans, I agree with Omiyale that he has done so in the wrong setting. I also appreciate Omiyale’s unique insight as a naturalized Nigerian immigrant, explaining that the playing of the national anthem is not so weird to non-Americans and that many countries actually look up to the patriotism expressed by American citizens every day. In the article, Beauchamp also argues that no other country plays their national anthem before a sports game as a way of saying that it does not belong in the sports world, but that is not true. In the NHL, the Canadian national anthem is played before the games held in Canada and anytime a Canadian team plays in America. Even if it was true that no other country does it, I agree with Omiyale’s argument that the US should not use other countries as its standard for the patriotism displayed. This is America. Since when do we follow what other countries do? America is a country rich in history and traditions, and the playing of the national anthem is one of those traditions. As such, it should be treated with respect and not disdain. Kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful and not the correct setting for a protest.

Thomas B

I do not agree with Sheena and think it is ignorant of her to generalize about Colin Kaepernick's critics when generalization is what caused him to have to act. I believe that the anthem is important and that Kaepernick should find another way to protest the tragedies happening around our country. This does not mean I “turn a blind eye” to what is happening in this nation. I am very concerned with the state of our nation’s police and their ability to use limited force. Additionally, I do not agree with Beauchamp’s sentiment that the anthem is a jingle “advertising” our country. The anthem is source of pride for this country and is supposed to be one of the things we will always unite over. Just because it started a certain way doesn’t mean it still has the same meaning now.

Sara Beth Sears

I disagree with the author's view that playing the national anthem brings politics into sports. There is nothing political about playing our country's anthem before a sporting event. Playing the national anthem is not part of someones "political agenda." Until recently, there have been no problems with them anthem, and it is a sign of patriotism for our country. The majority of players and fans feel goosebumps and thoroughly feel pride when the anthem is being played. I agree with Clay's argument that it is Kaepernick who is responsible for politics being brought in. Things become political when a player sits during an anthem for our country that millions of people have fought and died for. This act would obviously start political arguments within our country. Regardless of whether Kaepernick was right or wrong for his actions, he caused the arguments, not the sound guy playing the song. Hearing the anthem itself is not the cause for players to kneel. Players have been kneeling to injustice that they feel they have received in this country. If the anthem was not played, these players would just find another way to show they are unhappy with the country. I agree with the author that players use the anthem as a medium to show their opinion, but there is nothing political at all regarding the anthem itself.

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