February 24, 2003

Div III basketball player protests,: and seems to piss everyone off in the process. Is her act of defiance good for a team concept? Is this the proper venue for protesting? [more inside]

posted by bcb2k2 to basketball at 08:16 AM - 12 comments

The article states that this display has caused "discord in the locker room" and caused a furor on the road. Now a Vietnam vet has jumped onto the court and waved a flag in her face. I'm just wondering how far this will go before something happens, either to the player or to angry fans.

posted by bcb2k2 at 08:18 AM on February 24, 2003

Her act of defiance is good for the country. We should all respect an American's freedom of choice when it comes to pledging allegiance, honoring the National Anthem, and other patriotic celebrations. Otherwise, you dishonor the principles we're supposed to be celebrating. Enforcing a voluntary act of patriotism through fines or harrassment is obscene.

posted by rcade at 08:32 AM on February 24, 2003

She's an ass, but she's got the right to be an ass if she wants. That's what makes this country great, and is also the reason why we have so many asses around here.

posted by Samsonov14 at 09:14 AM on February 24, 2003

very f-ing brave girl. the flag-wrapped mom, on the other hand, who says the protest is ill-founded because it's on Manhattanville's dime seems to have missed the whole "should college players get paid" debate. what do you mean by "before something happens," bcb? an assault of some kind? or forcing her to march in line? the team is 16-9 and in the playoffs ... either the effect of the locker room discord has been minimal or she is one helluva player since the coach has been tolerate thus far. either way, if she is physically attacked...i hope, and believe, her teammates and most of the crowd will come to her defense.

posted by danostuporstar at 11:20 AM on February 24, 2003

What I meant by "before something happens" was the player (or, by association, a teammate or coach, or hell, even a fan) getting attacked for this stance. Since this is now front page news on mainstream national media, who knows what nuts will come out to play. She is (in my opinion) skirting that line between brave and foolhardy, in a time where anything closely resembling patriotism (or perceived lack of) is a big deal to the masses.

posted by bcb2k2 at 01:22 PM on February 24, 2003

Sports are, of course, closely connected with patriotism. As such, I am surprised that there haven't been more protested of this kind - especially among college players who tend to be a bit more brave/foolhardy (depending on your perspective, I suppose, bcb2k2). Good for her, although I think this sort of protest ultimately works against her views. Discussion about her concerns are ultimately derailed by her action, replaced by discussions about whether one should respect the flag or not.

posted by Joey Michaels at 02:16 PM on February 24, 2003

This always brings up the question that I ask: "Why do we play national anthems before sporting events?" Especially in these days of multi-national leagues (NBA, NHL, MLB) and multi-national players (North American, South American, African, European, Asian), why do we choose just one (or two) anthems to play? I'm not against the idea, I'm just wondering how these "foreign" players feel about it now.

posted by grum@work at 03:05 PM on February 24, 2003

I think we should just play the Epyx Theme before every game.

posted by Samsonov14 at 03:56 PM on February 24, 2003

Guess I’m out of touch. My original thought was ‘non-story’ but even our local fishwrap (out here on the left coast) has picked it up – pictures and all. I guess her little effort has gone noticed. She’s well within her rights as are any who should choose to criticize her. I’m sure the follow-up stories about the thousands of athletes who proudly salute their flag and sing the Anthem at lung’s peak are forthcoming.

posted by kloeprich at 05:41 PM on February 24, 2003

It's really up to her coach to do anything. Coaches often bench/suspend players for conduct on the court such as showboating or taunting the opponent and this behavior is similar, although not directed at her opponents.

posted by gyc at 06:27 PM on February 24, 2003

It seems to me bizarre that students would have to stand and face the flag and listen to the national anthem at all. But then, I'm British, what do I know?

posted by salmacis at 07:58 AM on February 26, 2003

It seems to me bizarre that students would have to stand and face the flag and listen to the national anthem at all. But then, I'm British, what do I know? Just a little FYI: The tradition of playing the national anthem (US or Canadian) in college and pro sports started in the 1940s to increase patriotism during WWII. I don't think I speak for most Americans, but I am ambivalent about the practice. On one hand, I love the ideals of my country and what to celebrate them. On the other hand, doing so before a sports event seems a bit odd. Update: Geno Auriemma of Uconn said he wouldn't allow a player on his team to turn away from the American flag during the national anthem. Frankly this a hard situation because everyone is right. Toni Smith is well within her rights and to my knowledge is not breaking any rule. A person like Geno Auriemma is also well within his rights to be pissed off, expressing being pissed off about it and enforce teams periodicals as he sees fit (without braking a rule or the law). Distinguished from the situation in the NBA a few years ago: In that instance the Macmood (Sp.?) was breaking an NBA rule by refusing to stand (NBA rules do not demand one respect the flag or the anthem, just one stands during the anthem) for the playing of the anthem. He could likely have done exactly want Toni Smith is doing and escape sanction. Hence, he was punished for not standing, not for his views or substance of his protest. Frankly I support Toni Smith and the views she is expressing; perhaps next time when I'm at a sporting event I hope to show the same courage and conviction of my views. However, in a twist I irony, I might stand for the anthem to show my support for Toni Smith's right to do want she is doing.

posted by Bag Man at 09:22 AM on February 26, 2003

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