There's a lot of discussion about the 49ers QB, and his decision not to stand for the anthem.
But I'd like to change the discussion a little and ask why we play the anthem - at all - prior to sporting events.
ESPN did a piece about this (see the link below) but in short it's because it's tradition. During WWI, baseball teams chose to pay tribute to our soldiers overseas.
They played the anthem and the did assorted patriotic displays, including have the teams march on the field like soldiers.
All the other things fell away but the anthem remained. And yet, it's weird that no other types of events - shows, plays, festivals, even movies - don't play the anthem.
So my question is: why do we still do it? I'm as proudly American as the next guy, but if it's two American teams playing each other, why play the anthem? An American team will win so it's not "hey look we're better than you"
How about if each team comes up with a fight song that plays to the same sense of pride in your team. It could even include a patriotic overture.
I think the discussion could be redirected into moving away from feeling a certain way about how a player reacts, and instead have a discussion about "tradition" ...
That's my two cents.