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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Angry at Couple Disrespecting The Star Spangled Banner at Sunday's SF Giants Game

Baseball is America's pastime and while technology has modernized it with HD scoreboards, uniforms made to be breathable, and synthetic grass, the tradition of baseball has not changed a bit.

Balls are hand stitched, Take Me Out to the Ballgame is played at the end of the top of the seventh inning, the sounds from the (or of the) organ is played through the PA system, and Cracker Jacks are always sold at any ball stadium.

With everything about baseball, the one thing locked-in with tradition is respecting our country with The Star Spangled Banner. We stop what we are doing (eating, selling food, cell phone chatting), stand-up, take off our hats, face the flag, and cheer at the end to the singers and to our country.

Why am I writing about this? Here's why:
  • On Sunday, I was at the afternoon Giants game versus the Houston Astros. When it was time to honor America with the Star Spangled Banner, the couple sitting to the left of me didn't stand-up, the wife had her earphones on tuned into KNBR radio, and both were playing with their cell phones.
  • I asked them, "please respect our country by standing up." The lady replied a few seconds later in a mild mannered tone: "I don't have to stand up to The National Anthem." My father elbowed me for making that statement, but he knew deep down in his soul that I was right.
  • During the anthem, the couple was also busy playing with their cell phones and didn't even take off their hats.
I find the couple's level of respect for our National Anthem to be absolutely poor and disrespectful. Regardless of how the country is doing, whether it be politically, economically, or just the scent in the air, every person in attendance at a baseball game must stand-up and take off their hats while we honor America.

Soldiers, Marines, sailors, and airmen are out there defending our country so we can have the right to free speech, press, religion, assembly, and so many others we benefit from our Constitution; the most basic level of respect is to always honor the singing of our National Anthem.

When Japanese Americans were incarcerated in internment camps during World War II for being questioned of their loyalty to our country, when it came time to call-up people for the Army to fight for our nation, thousands of Japanese American males in the camps volunteered and it created the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. They knew the best way to prove their loyalty to the United States is to fight in the war. Many sacrificed their lives in battle, including the rescue of the "Lost Battalion" (Texas National Guard). The 442nd is known throughout military history for being the most highly decorated regiment in the U.S. Armed Forces and that also includes 21 Medal of Honor recipients.

Even when Canadian baseball teams visit AT&T Park, fans are still asked to honor Canada during their singing of their National Anthem. This video example from a hockey game shows the level of respect from Boston fans to not booing the Canadian National Anthem.

To make matters worse with the disrespecting couple sitting next to me:
  • Every Sunday at AT&T Park is the singing of God Bless America, and prior to Take Me Out to the Ballgame. PA Announcer Renel Brooks-Moon asks everyone to rise, take off their caps, and while not mentioned by Brooks-Moon, people are encouraged to sing along.
  • The couple next to me didn't stand-up, sing, and did not take-off their cap.
  • Even more insulting is when the song was completed, they stood-up and sung Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
Writing this has brought me to a loss of words right now because there is so much frustration inside me.

That unpatriotic couple doesn't deserve to continue buying tickets to Giants games (not sure if they are season ticket holders). Those two demonstrated an absolute level of disrespect with their reply to me for not standing-up, and fiddling with their cell phones while The National Anthem was being sung by a group of school kids. The much older couple sitting a few seats to my right stood up for The Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America and they are real loyal Giants fans with season tickets.

I ask all of you, if you go to any event where The Star Spangled Banner is played and you find people sitting down, and/or not taking-off their hats, inform them that they have a responsibility to respect the country they live in, with the freedoms that are being defended everyday by our Armed Forces.


troymccluresf said...


With all due respect, if you think people *must* stand for the anthem, I thinking you're missing the larger point more wildly than a Bengie missing a slider.

Erik said...

You know that God Bless America is just a pop song with no official standing, right? Do you also get offended when people don't stand up for the Chicken Dance?

Akit said...

Your point is correct; but be aware that that couple really made it much worse by not standing and taking off their cap, then shortly after, standing and singing Take Me Out to The Ballgame.

In NYC, people who don't stand for both the Anthem and God Bless America gets cussed out by the fans around them.

annie said...

I hate that they now sing God Bless America. I am proud to be an American, but forcing people to sing about God just goes against the premise that this country was founded on the separation between church and state. I often do not pay attention when that one is sung, but sing at Take Me Out to the Ballgame. THIS is one aspect of the game that HAS changed, methinks for the worse.

National Anthem is different; you should stand for that one. (women don't need to take off their hats, generally)

Anonymous said...

Pablo Sandoval was messing around with Lou Seal a couple of days ago during the first 20 seconds of the anthem. I wouldn't do it to his country's anthem. Everyone needs a little work & advising it seems, especially management & Mr. Bochy, Sandoval's manager & Lou Seal's boss too.

As to the couple, after a bizarre 3 year stint in the military years ago, I had mixed feelings, now clearer about the anthem and sat through a couple anthems out of anger & frustration with my country. I corrected that and now stand & report inappropriate behavior by professionals like Sandoval who should know better.

You're right to be angry. Just know that individuals, especially in SF have strong narrow agendas sometimes so half cocked or even valid for the things they do. As a veteran it bothers me and they'll love us only when they need us like children & candy. On GBA, that's a tough one & it only started after 9/11 at ballgames here. Few can appreciate it's relevance from so long ago. and the God word scares those that may needa little religion from time to time.