Rationalizing the national anthem in Kansas City

hulk-flagMy buddy Slimm said the following on Facebook this weekend, and I think it bears repeating: “If I were the kind of person who gave 2 shits about the Star Spangled Banner I would be quite offended by 80,000 strong saying ‘home of the CHIEFS.'”

That’s always bothered me. For those of you unfamiliar with what I’m talking about, here’s the deal: when the national anthem plays at a Kansas City Chiefs game — or, really, any sporting event in the Kansas City area, be it a Royals baseball game or high school track meet — at the end, when everyone gets to the line “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave,” people instead say, “home of the CHIEFS.” I assume this is because brave and chief are both references to native peoples.

Now, regardless of the inherent racism present in referring to native peoples as “chiefs” and “braves,” and seeing nothing dissimilar between the two, that’s really only the beginning of the insensitivity inherent in the whole situation. While I’m by no means jingoistic, the idea of standing respectfully during the national anthem, hand over heart, only to piss all over it at the end, strikes me as horribly unpatriotic. The fact that most of the folks doing that are probably right-leaning folks who’d lose their shit if I didn’t take off my hat to show respect is chock-full of irony.

If you’re going to be respectful, be respectful the whole way. Saying the name of the football team you support at the end of the national anthem shows what you hold most dear, and if you consider your allegiance to the Chiefs to be greater than your allegiance to the country in which you reside, then let’s admit this is just a hollow display, and knock it off. We can get the game started a little sooner, and I won’t have to listen to some pop diva warble outside her range at the start of the Super Bowl.