December 18, 2011
Jeremy Shockey didn't like the way a few Houston Texans players were standing during the national anthem on Sunday and, being Jeremy Shockey, he wasn't shy about sharing his feelings with his opponents.
"I was pretty upset in the way [Texans players] weren't showing respect to America during the national anthem," the Panthers tight end told reporters from The Houston Chronicle. "There were about 10 players that didn't put their arms across their chest.
"This is America. You should at least respect America."
Shockey later said he told a few of the players about his feeling during the game, yet didn't elaborate on what he said.
Texans players gave it right back to Shockey.
"If he's so patriotic, why was he looking at our bench instead of the flag?" linebacker DeMeco Ryans asked the Chronicle. "Where did he come up with the number 10? Was he counting? Why was he paying attention to us during the national anthem?"
Duly noted, Mr. Ryans. Perhaps Shockey should do as he says and fully respect the anthem instead of looking around to see who isn't as patriotic as him.
A quick look at some image archives shows that the Texans are far from alone in not standing with their hands on their hearts. Here are two, of random shots of Eagles and Titans players during the anthem, and only a few are standing in a pose that would please Shockey.
I'd imagine it's the same situation with every single team around the NFL.
As the proud brother of a West Point graduate, I've seen how men and women should stand during the anthem and have found myself increasingly annoyed in recent years by the lack of respect people show during it. But complaining about it is like spitting into the wind.
Frankly, the players are the least of the problem. At least they tend to stand still and respectfully. In the stands it's a different story. There are people cheering before the anthem is over, shouting out words like "Oh!" and "red!" to support their teams, checking their phones and people wearing hats everywhere. I appreciate Shockey standing up for what he believes, yet can't help but think it's a cause long ago lost.
And, dude, if you think a few guys standing around without their hands over their heart is bad, go to Chicago. That's where they scream their heads off during the singing of the anthem and try to pass it off as patriotism.
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