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Ex-ESPN Anchor Calls For An End To ‘Mandatory Patriotism’ In Defense Of Mavericks’ National Anthem Ban

Jemele Hill just defended the Dallas Mavericks for canceling the national anthem, saying that it no longer belongs in American sports.

Former ESPN SportsCenter host Jemele Hill, who now writes for The Atlantic, came to the defense of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s decision to stop playing the national anthem before home NBA games in a new op-ed. Despite the NBA’s reversal, 

Hill went so far as to call the national anthem an “empty gesture of patriotism” and argue that it “shouldn’t be a pregame ritual in American sports..

Op-Ed Defends Dallas Mavericks’ Move To Cancel National Anthem

Hill presented her argument against the national anthem in an op-ed published Sunday that she titled, “The Problem With Mandatory Patriotism in Sports.”

“Playing the ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at sporting events has become an empty gesture of patriotism,” Hill wrote.

She went on to praise Cuban for his decision to stop playing the song, a choice that was reversed when the NBA took action and pointed out that it’s a league-wide rule that the anthem be played before all games.

Full Story: Dallas Mavericks’ Owner Mark Cuban Cancels National Anthem Before Games

Despite this, Hill argued that “the Mavericks should have held their ground” and kept imposing their ban on the national anthem.

Hill writes she supports for the ban on the grounds that this is “a time when many people—including many athletes of color—are deeply uncomfortable with how patriotic symbols have been weaponized to undermine and diminish the humanity of Black and brown Americans.”  

NBA Reverses Ban On National Anthem

Instead of forcing Cuban to play the anthem, Hill said that the NBA should have taken this opportunity to have all teams stop playing the anthem.

She even claimed that one of the original verses of the song praises slavery, saying, “which includes the lyric ‘No refuge could save the hireling and slave, From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave’—has been interpreted as mocking or threatening the Black people who escaped their enslavers and fought for the British.”

It should be noted that many historians have rendered this claim to be false, saying that the third verse of “The Star Spangled Banner” is actually addressing the impressment of Americans into the British navy.

Ignoring this, Hill moved on to outrageously claim that these days, the anthem is unfairly used by Donald Trump supporters who say “real patriots stand for the anthem” and those who don’t are “traitors.”

She added that the song is now associated with “white supremacists.” 

“In the years since, Americans have seen far too many images of white supremacists waving the national flag and shouting patriotic slogans,” Hill wrote. “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,” she added. “If it wasn’t clear before why people of color feel uncomfortable with the conservative definition of patriotism, it should be now.”

The sports journalist makes it clear that she is vehemently opposed to “mandatory patriotism” for this reason. It seems that she conflates patriotism with white supremacy.

Hill then calls for this “mandatory patriotism” to end.

Jemele Hill: ‘Mandatory Patriotism’ Needs To End

In the end, Hill feels that “the NBA’s decision to strong-arm teams into playing the national anthem just doesn’t seem right.”

“When the Mavericks stopped playing the national anthem, [NBA commissioner Adam] Silver should have been similarly accommodating—and taken advantage of the opportunity to lift the league’s anthem rule,” she concluded.

“Whatever the NBA decided was going to outrage someone. But mandatory patriotism doesn’t give Americans reason for pride; it only highlights the country’s failures.”

It’s unfortunate that Jemele Hill and other radical liberals like her have made disrespecting America something that not only is socially acceptable, but maybe she’s right on one point.

Patriotism shouldn’t be “mandatory.” It should be something we inherently feel, because of how great our country is, and can be.

Our institutions, like our families, our schools, and our media, should tell the truth about American greatness and how far we’ve come.

Instead of attacking our country, we ought to be telling each other that it’s great, and that whatever our problems, we can continue to get better, as we always have.

A people that love their country don’t need for patriotism to be mandatory.

If anything should be “canceled,” it’s anti-American sentiment based on falsehoods and “woke” ideology not “The Star-Spangled Banner’.

Read Next: Mark Cuban Insists Dallas Mavericks “Didn’t Cancel” National Anthem

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