What would happen if we dispensed with the anthem before sporting events? It’s not that anyone would view what was going to transpire as less American. After all, we are talking games here, diversions, not recognition of taking out the sniper’s nest on the hill or helping the impoverished or just giving back to one’s community.
And while it’s also not practical to cue up a recording of the anthem as you take your seat at a screening of “A Quiet Place,” it’s not equitable that sports should get the anthem treatment alone among forms of entertainment.
Its presence should be reserved for matters of greater consequence. Sports are leisure. If you view them, you have decided to spend some of your down time on them. Same as sitting out by the pool, or taking the trip to the microbrewery. Leisure needs no patriotic commendation, and when we kick off a sporting event in the same manner as a graduation ceremony at the Air Force Academy, perspective is lost.