Why "Paid Patriotism" Needs To Go
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Why "Paid Patriotism" Needs To Go

Paid patriotism doesn’t belong in sports, or anywhere.

Why "Paid Patriotism" Needs To Go

In this country, sports and patriotism seem to go hand in hand. When you think of the most culturally relevant sports in America, baseball and football come to mind. The pre game national anthems alongside regular military presence and ovations have become synonymous with sporting events. What for years seemed to be an organic gesture of patriotic pride and giving our military respect by major sport franchises has recently been revealed to be nothing more than a marketing strategy.

In the wake of recent scandals in the sporting world, such as NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the national anthem, the shady marketing schemes of the US government have come to light. From 2012-2015, the Department of Defense had spent approximately $53 million on marketing contracts with 72 major sports franchises from all major leagues, the highest paid teams being that of the NFL. The National Football League, an organization that owns a day of the week, is no stranger to controversy. Up until 2009, its players and staff were not required to be present on the field for the pre game anthem, a requirement that the US government has now paid for.

This is a country where you can sell a product by simply calling it “American.” A country whose people rises to their feet and repeats with teary eyes the words “land of the free and home of the brave,” wherever and whenever the Star Spangled Banner is played. A country where it is not only considered a duty but the highest honor to serve your nation. A country in which, whenever we see men and women in uniform we feel the spontaneous and heartfelt need to thank them for their service. Despite this, American sports fans have been conned and deceived. They have been led to believe that the teams and players they passionately love have acted charitably on their own will in the continuing support of the military service personnel and all those who have served this great nation. At the heart of the grand patriotic displays available at games is only marketing propaganda aimed to increase fan support of the military by manipulating any national discourage the military may receive, and most importantly to increase profits.

The US government has always attempted to increase feelings of patriotism amongst its citizens, sometimes unnecessarily. Their intentions in this case may be pure or not. Nonetheless, they have acted in a most unethical manner by manipulating sports fans and playing with their patriotic pride. Paid patriotism now has only managed to diminish the value of the NFL and the military.

We don’t need to be paid to thank our service men and women. People are not patriotic because our favorite sports teams are also patriotic. It comes from the belief that this is greatest country on earth because you can be anything, and no one has the right to tell you otherwise. The pride we feel for the stars and stripes on the flag has been present for over 200 years, it’s not going away anytime soon. Paid patriotism doesn’t belong in sports, or anywhere.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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