Wednesday’s Podcast: The National Anthem

It’s been a few months since the last time we shared an episode of our sports podcast, The 252. So I was glad when Chris Moore stuck his head in my office earlier this week and asked if we could record a “micropod” about the latest iterations in the debate over sports, protest, and the Star-Spangled Banner.

The National Anthem before a Milwaukee Bucks game in 2011 – Creative Commons (Jeramey Jannene)

So Chris, Sam Mulberry, and I spent about 20 minutes today talking about the NBA forcing the Dallas Mavericks to play America’s national anthem before their games, the small Baptist college in Virginia that suspended basketball players who protested that song, the (relatively) recent history of adding that ritual to American sporting events, and why the same practice doesn’t hold true beyond North America. For example, I noted that, for months now, Premier League soccer players, coaches, and referees in England have all been taking a knee in a ritual pre-game protest of racism, with no anthem at all.

(For some pre- or post-episode reading, let me recommend Jemele Hill’s latest article for The Atlantic.)

Plus, Chris riffed briefly on Tom Brady and the three of us suggested sporting events to see this weekend — only two of which were basketball games.

You can download or stream this episode of The 252 — and all others — at Podbean, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.