In a new Op-Ed for the Atlantic, Jemele Hill argues that the national anthem should no longer be compulsory to be played by NBA teams.
Hill tweeted “The Dallas Mavericks had the right idea when they stopped playing the anthem.”
The Dallas Mavericks had the right idea when they stopped playing the anthem. Here’s my column for @TheAtlantic on why the anthem doesn’t belong in American professional sports https://t.co/5hzNy8UMWL
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) February 14, 2021
Hill writes “Commentators who did not object when the anthem was used for conservative causes became indignant when Colin Kaepernick used it in 2016 to draw attention to police violence against Black people. In taking a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the former NFL quarterback unwittingly created an opportunity for former President Donald Trump and other conservatives to hijack the conversation. As a candidate and as president, Trump criticized Kaepernick’s protest to score political points. Real patriots stood for the anthem, Trump and his supporters insisted. And in their view, those who stood—or peacefully kneeled—against injustice were traitors.”
She continues “In the years since, Americans have seen far too many images of white supremacists waving the national flag and shouting patriotic slogans. The insurrectionists at the U.S. Capitol did just that, even as they tried to overturn a free election. Trump and many other Republicans who impugned Kaepernick’s patriotism now want the rest of the country to ignore the Capitol riot and move on. If it wasn’t clear before why people of color feel uncomfortable with the conservative definition of patriotism, it should be now.”
“Amid the renewed attention to forms of racial injustice ingrained in American life, the NBA’s decision to strong-arm teams into playing the national anthem just doesn’t seem right. It will embolden people who insist upon an exclusive form of patriotism,” Hill adds.
Read more here.