Dwyane Wade provided many hours of coverage in the sports media over the past couple of days. Before game 3 of the semi-finals series between the Heat and the Raptors on Saturday night, Wade continued with his routine of practice shots while the Canadian National Anthem was being performed. This angered many; they felt Wade disrespected the entire country of Canada.

National Anthems are dumb.

I was genuinely surprised when I saw the United States National Anthem was sung before the NFL Draft a few weeks ago. Why do we feel the need to “honor” our country before every sporting event? Why do we need to honor our country before a draft?

I don’t believe we need to pander to the blind nationalism that plagues our country and the world. This isn’t 1931 anymore when the National Anthem was adopted by the United States. We don’t need to rally together to get out of a great depression. I keep capitalizing National Anthem as if it deserves the respect of standing out in writing. That is just second nature to me and I am cynical of the whole charade.

Whenever I have gone to a sporting event the national anthem has been sung by some little kid with a disability or some emerging artist and everyone is obligated to stand up and remove their hats. That seems very cult-ish to me and why is wearing a hat considered disrespectful?

The whole process seems peculiar and outdated. It is one of many traditions in our society today that survived that do not make any sense. It builds on the arrogance of people who feel The United States is superior to the rest of the world. It is a shameless method of building up “pride” in a group of people, most of whom do not vote or serve in the military.

The national anthem is empty. It means nothing.

Watching the Fox broadcast of the NFC game of the week during the NFL season makes me cringe. Those games are called by the infamous Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. After the national anthem is sung and as the ball is kicked off to start the game, Joe Buck says proudly “America is the greatest country in the world.” As if singing the national anthem while soldiers are holding an American flag the size of a football field and fighter jets flying overhead isn’t American enough, Buck feels the need to aggrandize the nationalism even more. That is a very arrogant subjective statement and it makes me feel ashamed to be an American when it is said.

I understand the injured party in this story is Canada and not the United States, but it opened up an opportunity for me to express my views on all national anthems. I do not think this is a tradition that will fade away anytime soon but one day I truly do believe people will look back on the performing of national anthems before sporting events similarly to the way we now look back on the sacrificing of losing players after sporting events in the Mayan Empire.

Is it really that important to stick our chests out and expose our nationalism to the world before every sporting event? After witnessing the response to the Wade situation, I guess it is.

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