Sports and Nationalism

Originally Posted At: Stadium Scene TV

By: Kate Thompson

Updated: Jul 03, 2017

Sports and Nationalism
When was the last time you went to an American sports events and did not hear the national anthem?   How about a shout out to the men and women who serve our country? Nationalism is tightly associated with sports in America and also with many countries all around the world.                      

The U.S. Navy Ceremonial Band performs the national anthem while members of Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals stand on the field before the start of opening day at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., March 31, 2011. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Musician Stephen Hassay/Released)

Stadiums proudly display the American flag. Some stadiums have names to honor the country, such as Soldier Field in Chicago. Others may have a memorial to members of the service. Having service members stretch out a giant American flag before the Superbowl is an image engraved in my head.   You're probably also familiar with the fact that they use service members as the color guard for the flag before the national anthem. I also cannot remember the last game I was at where a service member was not introduced mid-game.


By John Picken (Soldier Field, Chicago) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Baseball is known as America's past time. It is rooted deep in America's history. There is relatability as people will root for the underdog, especially if they represent their town or state. In our history, we were the underdog when it came to the American Revolution. Those living here rooted and supported the underdog. Don't get me wrong, people may cheer for other teams, but back to my American revolution example, there were people in the colonies did not support the underdog either. Keep in mind that you had women taking over the sport to keep it going when American men were at war in the 1940's. Baseball has had an impact when integration happened in America. Baseball isn't the only sport that has deep ties to American history. American football was created and played in America. Fans get decked out in USA gear for soccer games. They also chant U-S-A! Other sports have people compete to represent the country at the Olympics. The ultimate goal there is to bring home the gold and have their country's national anthem played at the medal ceremony. This Independence Day, take a moment to reflect and see other ways nationalism influences your life. You may be surprised. Read More...

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