At a recent University of Oklahoma football game, the entire stadium crowd stood with hands over their hearts to sing “The Star Spangled Banner.” At an Oklahoma City Thunder game when “The Star Spangled Banner” played, players from both teams and some of the coaches looked down and shuffled back and forth as everyone in the stands stood with their hands over their hearts to show respect.
Oklahomans love our Thunder and we love our country. Our pride swells to have an NBA team in our capital city. A U.S. Air Force Base is home to our largest employer; thousands of military veterans have decided to retire here. Why do our professional athletes show such disregard and disrespect for the national anthem? Is it intentional? Remember, these professional athletes are more than just players. They're role models for young children. Their attitudes could be replicated by the children who may idealize these sports heroes.
When “The Star Spangled Banner” is played, everyone should face the flag, the right hand should be raised to cover the heart and nonmilitary men wearing hats should hold them against the left shoulder. Military personnel salute for the duration of the anthem.
It doesn't matter if you're a U.S. citizen or not, it's the same respect you would show for any nation's national anthem.
Larry Stein, Edmond