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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

Football fans however, are going to see a sporting event -- they are not paying to see (or go to) a protest, or political rally

Regardless of who it was, that opposed what was happening, I agree it is hugely disrespectful.  Sporting events (and similar gatherings) are intended to be entertainment -- not political events, rallies, etc.  In my opinion, those attending, and who are likely in the majority, should not have to be have this kind of disrespect shoved in their face.

Political activism, in Canada, has a long and
proud history.People, and organizations,
however have been responsible to
a large degree for their own events

It's a free and democratic country, and these athletes are certainly welcome to hold an event, where the topic of discussion is clearly understood.  There is NO COMMONALITY however with where they are currently doing this (protesting). 

Instead, they are simply take advantage of who they are -- complete with puffed up egos perhaps? -- and having someone else foot the bill for marketing and promoting it.

There is no commonality; players are simply
being completely disrespectful of their fans.

News reporter, commentary writer, and Kamloops resident, DALE BASS, posed an interesting question to my thoughts:
What about when musicians sing protest songs?
Should they just stick to entertaining cover songs? Or when authors write books with protest themes? Are there two classes of entertainers?"

I like, and respect Dale, and the opinions and thoughts she presents.  She is one of the individuals that keeps my eyes open to alternatives.  In this case we are far apart however.

I believe what she present, and what is happening (and where), are totally different scenarios. Fans of athletes, entertainers, artists, etc,  know what they are getting, and what they are paying to see and hear.  Movie stars, musicians, writers etc have a particular branding attached to them.  People who agree can pay to see them in THAT ROLE. 

Football fans however, are going to see a sporting event; they are not paying to see (or go to) a protest, or political rally.

IF these players truly believe in what they are protesting, then they should simply hold their own event, publicized as such.  Don't hold fans of football, hostage, while they get someone else to pay for it.

Which is why I disagree with a comment (also made on social media regarding this story) by another Kamloops resident, John O'Fee.  John is well known in political circles here as a former School Trustee and Kamloops City Councilor, former IHA head, and as a candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada in the 2004 election.  He stated:

Then why do they play the national anthem? In reality it is part entertainment and part political. Teams represent geographic areas and many fans support a team despite few or any players actually coming from that area. Likewise, the medal counts at Olympics are done by nation. To suddenly pretend politics has no part of this is simplistic. Politicians of all stripes appear at sporting events to burnish their image....for Pence to walk out and make a statement like he did is a purely political and rehearsed strategy. He would have been disappointed if there were no protest because that would have messed up his script.

(1921) New York Yankees hold their caps over their 
hearts during a performance of the national anthem
(Credit: FPG/Getty Images)
Checking the History Channel website, as to why and how the anthem ended up part of sporting events, at least in the United States, can be found by clicking here:

To date, players disrespecting the flag of a nation, and it's national anthem, have mostly been isolated to the United States.  How long though , will it take before, it has more than a toe-hold in Canada? 

I personally had it shoved in my face, when an individual just a few seats from me (10 feet), disrespected our country.  He deliberately remained sitting (slouching actually) during the singing of Oh Canada at the Labour Day weekend Fall Fair Rodeo in Barriere just a month ago. 

Did this happen because they've seen others do it -- or was it simply a personal act based on their own belief?  I don't know, but I strongly disagree with them doing it. 

Before I close, let me be clear about one thing -- I DO NOT agree with the grandstanding being made by players / athletes ... or by politicians whatever their stripe.  Pence, Trump, and others are getting coverage in the media because of who they are. Every day people however are not. And I question whether the majority of them would agree with the grandstanding by the players, or by the politicians.

What thoughts do you have on the matter?  Do you agree or disagree?  The floors yours, and I'd love to hear from you!

In Kamloops, I'm Alan Forseth.


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