Here's a brief history lesson for those who cleave to the national anthem. It wasn't always played at sporting events until around the time of World War II. Professional baseball, professional football, etc., existed without it played at every game for decades. Obviously we're used to it. It's all we've known in our lifetimes. Now the national anthem is being used as a moment for athletes to protest racial inequity and social injustice.

With the locked arms backlash the NFL offered President Trump over the weekend it doesn't look like those protests will stop soon. Are we okay to keep ignoring it? Or are those who swear off the NFL correct? Or is there another way?

Back in 1972 as the Vietnam War raged on, Kansas City Royals owner Ewing Kauffman made a decision to stop having the national anthem performed before games because of how disgusted he was that some fans were disrespecting it. That didn't last long as there were a lot of complaints.

Now though, it's the players themselves using the national anthem as a moment to protest and it's being televised. A country already divided after a contentious election is being pushed apart more by the feud between President Trump and the NFL players who he called "sons of bitches." Would taking this built in platform away from the players be the perfect slap in their face? Or would it be too hurtful to patriotic Americans?

Recently former governor of Minnesota Jesse Venture asked on Twitter, "Why the hell do we even need the national anthem before they play?" It's not a bad question. We're just so used to it that we assume it has to be there. But does it? Does the anthem really having anything to do with playing a game? When you really think about it it seems more fitting to play it in courthouses at the beginning of a day than on a football or baseball field.

Our national anthem should not be used like a plaything. When one of your children is abusing something in your house, you take it away from them telling them that's not a toy. When NFL players abuse the national anthem and treat it like their own personal toy for spotlight and showboating, is it time it was taken away from them?

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