Doug Glanville explains why he still stands for the national anthem

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
10 Comments

In the wake of the controversy surrounding 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his decision not to stand for the national anthem, former major leaguer Doug Glanville penned a column for US News & World Report explaining why he still chooses to stand for the national anthem.

Glanville, a black male athlete, has had to deal with racism throughout his life. For example, he writes that his academic achievements at an Ivy-league college were “chalked up to affirmative action,” and his athletics achievements were chalked up to “natural talent.” Furthermore, Glanville recalls two times in the last two years someone made an assumption about him simply by the color of his skin. Two years ago, Glanville was shoveling his own driveway when a police officer parked his car, walked up to him, and asked, “So, you trying to make a few extra bucks, shoveling people’s driveways around here?” He wrote about that incident of racial profiling at The Atlantic. Glanville also recalls when he tried to get a taxi in Los Angeles and a driver told him to take the bus instead.

Despite that, Glanville still stands for the national anthem.

Kaepernick made me think of why I salute the flag and I am thankful that I finally had to answer that question. I have come to realize people salute it for a variety of reasons. It could be nostalgia, thinking about the good old days, the traditions, the memories, the way is used to be, the way it should still be, the sacrifice, honoring history. It could be about today, the America that has a world presence, a fantastic Olympic team, a lot of resources, more diversity than ever, a black president, a female nominee, an inspiration to freedom. It could be about the future, what I hope for, what I see in America’s greatest potential, the dreams of people who came before me. It accepts that we are not there yet and what makes us American is our constant competitive spirit to get there.

When up against the most difficult aspects of our racial reality, it is important to understand that so many people do not even know what to fight or how to fight it. Fighting an enemy that is so clearly visible in the moment, that instantaneously retracts into the shadows in its aftermath, creates desperation. We have seen horrific violence as a response, we have seen a rejection of our sacred symbols and servants in the most public forums. It stems from deep, unaddressed issues that have festered since the dawn of our country, and via institutions that perpetuate it to a privileged gain. So people are scared, as I imagine Kaepernick is, lost, afraid to get pulled over, having conversations like I am with their eight-year-old son because he is on the darker side of the color scale. Conversations that should be reserved for an 18 year old.

What makes Glanville’s column great, though, beyond being well thought out and reasoned, is that he doesn’t try to tell Kaepernick or anyone else what he or she should or should not do. Standing, or not standing, is a choice people make for themselves. Neither is inherently right or wrong. Glanville, being aware of and having experienced racism in similar ways as Kaepernick has, chooses to stand but that does not invalidate Kaepernick’s decision to sit.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

mlb
Logan Riely/Getty Images
1 Comment

PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.