Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Should Walmart Employees Take a Knee Before Stocking a Shelf?

Don Boudreaux writes:

Here’s insight and a good idea, conveyed to me by e-mail, from my long-time and very wise correspondent Warren Smith (shared here with his kind permission):
When I go to Walmart no one on the staff “takes a knee” before stocking a shelf or selling a product.
Neither does this happen at
Home Depot or McDonald’s or anywhere else that I spend my money.  Of course, none of these businesses pipe the national anthem into their stores.
My entertainment dollar is no different than my grocery dollar.
If the fans object to being asked to sacrifice their leisure time with political issues or to the players “taking a knee”, then maybe the sports venues should simply stop playing the national anthem rather than ask the players to choke down their voicing of their conscience.
Someone else wrote to me earlier today expressing disgust with protesting NFL players.  This other person said that he just wishes that they’d “take it off the field.”  I’m sympathetic.  I generally dislike people who I pay for entertainment to mix politics into their acts.  Their politics are typically juvenile, and expressing political opinions is not what I pay to watch them do.  (When I want to expose myself to juvenile politics, I read the editorial pages of major American newspapers.) The trouble is, the NFL (like each of almost all other sports purveyors in the U.S.) has for as long as I can remember – and I went, as a nine-year-old, to my first NFL game on September 17, 1967 – insisted on playing the national anthem before the start of each of its games.
I really like the idea of ending once and for all the ritual pre-game skin-crawling homage to the state.
The above originally appeared at Cafe Hayek.


  1. It's so Orwellian that those who actively stand, salute, and sing the nationalist anthem to worship the flag are not considered to be "making a political statement" but those who fail to participate in this ritual ARE.

    1. It's also funny that those booing the protesters during the anthem are being less respectful than the quiet protesters. Either way, it's a win: the Anthem nonsense before games ends or people keep booing during it.

      Eric Morris

    2. Oh I'm stealing this one!

  2. Odd how this whole, Nation-State Anthem nonsense took hold at sporting events. Imagine how preposterous it'd be if people stood up and did the same just prior to other entertainment events: the opera; the cinema; an art gallery; a symposium or college lecture; the running of a marathon; a spelling-bee or chess championship; sitting for a law-school bar exam or medical-school exams...etc. etc.
    And the shaming of people who decline to stand (both in the audience and on the field) reminds me of the ubiquitous "Heil Hitler!" greeting and salute that every good citizen was expected to display upon entering a room or encountering someone, in Nazi Germany.