One view: Football players should absolutely stand for the playing of the national anthem before their games.
Another perspective: Football players have a right to do whatever they want during the national anthem, including getting down on one knee or standing and raising their fist.
A compromise: A subject on which reasonable people may differ (although The Curmudgeon suspects you know where he stands on the issue).
But here’s an even bigger question:
Why on earth do they play the national anthem before a football game – or a baseball game or a basketball game or any other type of game? What does the national anthem – a song glorifying war, you will recall (“and the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air”) – have to do with playing a game? The rest of us don’t start our work day with the national anthem, so why must professional or college or even high school athletes do so?
And while we’re at it, who decided that failure to treat the national anthem in the customary manner reflects a lack of respect for veterans? In fact, what do veterans have to do with this matter at all?
And to take it a step further, for those who for some reason insist that this is all about veterans, if people aren’t free to express their displeasure about some aspect of their society in a non-violent, non-disruptive manner without the harassment of their neighbors and their president, then don’t you have to wonder what those veterans think they were fighting for?