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Sami Zayn Speaks Out on Politicizing Sports Games

Written by Jameus Mooney

Since 2016 when Colin Kaepernick knelt against racial injustice for the first time during the National Anthem, it has sparked a giant controversy within football. One on side, you have many people who find the act “disrespectful” despite there being absolutely nothing inherently disrespectful about it, to the Troops. On the other side, you have a plethora of troops in support of the silent protest, even if they don’t agree with what they’re protesting, as they fought for their right to kneel, their to protest and their right to express. It’s not even against flag code, whereas things such as the flag on clothing or any type of paper product is and it’s commonly used. Nobody’s screaming that something like that is disrespectful, despite it being written by the government that it is.

On Sunday, the Jaguars, Jets, and other teams stayed in their locker room during the National Anthem, which sparked even more of an outrage from the conservative fanbase. They aren’t kneeling in front of the flag, so what exactly is the issue in this case? Certain owners required players be out for the Anthem, but it wasn’t until 2009 where all thirty teams were out of the locker room for it. Why? The NFL began to compensate players for being out there, to help recruit for the military, which effectively politicized the National Anthem. The players who didn’t go out forfeited their pay from the government on Sunday. In fact, the dictionary definition of politics is “the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.” By definition, anything that has to do with war or militarism is political and the National Anthem at a football game is political.

WWE star, who is a former Intercontinental Champion and NXT Champion, Sami Zayn recently took to Twitter to speak out. Zayn is a tremendous humanitarian, and his SamiForSyria foundation has helped bring modern medicine to Third World Countries.

The replies were, well, what you would expect. A lot of “what’s wrong with patriotism and wanting to support my country?” There isn’t anything wrong with that, but to think the anthem in sports isn’t political because you’re a “patriot” is an ignorant way to continue to grasp for straws. Anything that has to do with war and the military is political by the very definition of the word “politics.” Any war that the troops fight is political. It is foreign affairs and foreign policy. Carl Von Clausewitz was spot on when he said a “war is continuation of politics.” Sami went onto quote his tweet to clarify:

Patriotism is never a bad thing, it’s defined as a “devotion of support to one’s country.” If I love my country so much (and I do), why would I not want it to change for the better, to be the best country it could be? If I don’t agree with a movement people are protesting, why would I be offended by their protests? If I love the rights my country gives me, I should support those rights being invoked. However, as we see here, patriotism by protest is political, therefore patriotism is inherently political in a lot of instances. Sami really isn’t incorrect here. What are your thoughts? Tweet me @TheJameus.

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About the author

Jameus Mooney