Several members of the East Carolina University and Southern Methodist University marching bands knelt while performing the National Anthem- or simply refused to play it at all- prior to football games this fall.
East Carolina’s desecration of the Star-Spangled Banner occurred October 1st at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, prior to the Pirates’ game with the University of Central Florida. About a dozen members of the Marching Pirates chose to disgrace themselves in this manner in an attempt to disgrace their country and all those who have sacrificed for it.
The Protesting Pirates were taken aback when outraged football fans exercised their right to freedom of speech by loudly and lustily booing the band as it came onto the field to perform its half-time show.
According to the USA Today, numerous posts to the school’s Facebook page reflected the fan’s ire. One stated: “I am ashamed of this school for letting the band do this,” while another asked, “What are you teaching these kids? I believe the students have the right to protest, but not on that field in uniform.” Still another properly posited: “What if those of us who write checks to the university stop sending them as our way of using our voice?”
I’ll tell you what. Given universities lust for lucre, the misguided, marching, morons would soon be upright and sporting American flag pins…or they would receive marching orders to transfer to another institution of higher learning.
ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton released a statement defending the marching band’s actions: “While we acknowledge and understand the disappointment felt by many Pirate fans in response to the events at the beginning of today’s football game, we urge all Pirate students, supporters and participants to act with respect for each other’s views.” He also affirmed “the rights of our students, staff and faculty to express their personal views.”
Cecil, the silent, kneeling band members were acting out of blatant and explicit disrespect for other’s views. What if these same band members sported “All Lives Matter” signs or “Make America Great Again” placards, or even a small Star of David patch on a sleeve? Surely you would’ve similarly supported these actions in your zeal to protect the student’s right to free expression, correct Chancellor?
But Cecil wasn’t done: “Civil discourse is an East Carolina value and part of our ECU creed,” he sniffed. “We are proud that recent campus conversations on difficult issues have been constructive, meaningful exchanges that helped grow new understanding among our campus community.”
In what way is kneeling for the National Anthem a ‘constructive, meaningful exchange,’ Chancellor Staton? How is refusing to play it helping to ‘grow new understanding?’
Who will be next in joining these on-field protests? Referees, linesman, back judges? Will cheerleading squads turn their backs on the flag during the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner? Perhaps food and beer vendors will lay down in the aisles and cameramen will refuse to show the flag or will shut down their cameras entirely during the performing of the anthem. I’m sure we’ll soon see members of the chain gang dropping their trousers and mooning the flag come anthem-time.
“Bob, Al, what are you doing?”
“We’re engaging in a constructive, meaningful exchange in an attempt at growing new understanding, of course!”
So go on kids, keep right on protesting. Schools: keep taking all that taxpayer money. Take your scholarships, players and performers. Take advantage of the uniforms you’re wearing. In your pathetic attempts to advance your own personal agenda, you also disgrace others who’ve worn uniforms that are much more dangerous to don.