Is standing for the national anthem political?

One of the main arguments against kneeling, is fans don’t want to mix politics with sports, and kneeling is political. If kneeling is political, is standing political too?

Tradition mostly, I would think.

Yes it is. Standing for the anthem shows respect for the country and the flag. One of the many possible reasons a person might choose to remain sitting would be as a form of very mild and unclear protest.

Fans don’t mind mixing politics with sports - if they did they wouldn’t play the anthem at all, obviously.

I’m not sure they’re cognizant that it’s political though. It’s harder to see something as political when the way it “should be” is reinforced since birth as tradition.

Whatever the default action is, the action that deviates from the default will be considered political.

So when the default action was standing, Kaepernick was perceived as making a political statement by kneeling.

But now, it looks like the pendulum is swinging the other way. Now, so many athletes are kneeling - sometimes, almost an entire roster - that an athlete who stands during the anthem is perceived as the one trying to make a statement.

Way back in like, 9th or 10th grade, (late 80s) l decided that I would no longer say the pledge of allegiance, because there was not “liberty and justice for all.” So, one morning I stayed sitting while everyone else stood up and recited it. I was quickly told I had to stand. It sure felt political to be forced to stand. (I wasn’t forced to recite – not sure if they knew there was a Supreme Court case about that, or if they just stopped at making my protest be pretty much invisible.)

The national anthem is political performance art, so any response to it must be political by definition.

A national anthem is a wholly political invention. Any convention or tradition that surrounds it is also necessarily political.

EDIT: Blast! Ninja’d by @HMS_Irruncible!

Even so, the correct response to “fans don’t want to mix politics [that support black people] with sports” is “So you want to stop playing the national anthem at sporting events, then?”

“The fans” are an amorphous blob though. You can’t really “respond” to them. They’re not looking to debate. The most feedback you’ll get from them as a group is silence, boos, or (less often) applause.

Look, you said this was a “main argument”. Unless you parsed this argument by interpreting the silence, boos, and applause as morse code or something, the argment has come from one or more specific people. It is to them that one would direct a response.

Fair enough.

Personal decision. I used to not but then I changed. Living outside the country made me more patriotic, I guess.

Playing the anthem at all is political, making up rules about what you should or shouldn’t do while it’s playing is political

Is there a political equivalent of ceremonial deism?

If so, I would make the same counterargument I make to people that plead ceremonial deism in defense of some religious display. If it has enough meaning to you that you want it to be present, then you can’t tell me I should ignore its presence and treat it as meaningless. Opposition and support deserve equal weight.

“Ceremonial Deism” (a nonsensical term, by the way) itself is political. It is the political use of religion. In other words: there is no such thing as ceremonial deism.

As with most things in life, context matters. It is not a political statement when a national anthem is being played at international sports events. It’s simply a ceremonial custom. As is the custom of paying respect to the national anthems by participants and fans. Though I have little doubt that too can be politicized. It’s stupid and unnecessary patriotism when it’s played domestically at sporting events, amateur and professional. They ought to knock it off if they want to avoid it being politicized by either side of the political spectrum.

True, there are many reasons why one may remain sitting during the anthem: they might be protesting against the United States, or they might be eating nachos.

What’s the definition of “political” for the purposes of this thread?

My sense (which could be wrong) is that things like standing for the national anthem never used to be political in the sense of being partisan: Americans across the political spectrum routinely stood for the anthem out of patriotism or tradition or solidarity and never imagined they were taking sides or doing anything “political.”

Context does matter, and I would say that playing the national anthem at an international sporting event is a non-political announcement of “Hey! We’re here! Woot!”

Standing for the anthem at such an anthem is a political statement, though - it asserts that you are a loyal member of that country. It it wasn’t a political statement then people of other countries would stand for our anthem too.

I was surprised and refreshed to learn that playing the anthem at sporting events was not a McCarthy-era assertion of anti-communist political views. It was, instead, an assertion of solidarity with and support of the military/war effort during WWI.