On his radio show today, Glenn Beck took aim at members of both Super Bowl participants, the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers for what he believed was disrespect for our national anthem. Beck said, “Was anybody else offended by I don’t know could you put your hand on your heart?” The problem is that the video shows some very respectful Packers and Steelers.
Here is the audio from Media Matters:
Beck said, “Did anybody notice number 22 Pittsburgh? Don’t know who he was…number 22, William Gay. Did you see it? Was anybody else offended by I don’t know could you put your hand on your heart? Can you do that? Some of them were just like hanging on their jerseys some of them were just talking. It’s the national anthem. I mean my son Raphe. We were sitting there and he was talking, and I was ssh, put your hand on your heart.”
After one of crew said that he thought that was little much, Beck replied, “No we’re not standing in the living room. We were sitting and he was talking and I said, shh. Teach him young; put the hand on your heart….so I was really offended by the sports players that were just hanging on their jersey and everything else.”
After getting mocked for calling them sports players, and told that the players are there to play football not the national anthem, Beck replied, “Oh really, so the country that gives them the ability to…pursue their happiness in peace and safety is not worth putting your hand on the heart.”
Beck then heaped praise on William Gay of the Steelers, “He did, not only did he, he was crying. When they took that shot of him and he was crying, I thought thank you. Thank you for somebody having a, I don’t know maybe he was just caught up in the moment of you know here I am at the Super Bowl and this is my moment to shine, and this is the Star Spangled Banner. I mean, it’s a moment. At least I saw one person, so thank you, William Gay number 22 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Thank you for at least having a moment, and if you were thinking about have you seen the taxes in my check, and you were crying about that, don’t tell me, because I want to believe it was something else.”
The video of the national anthem does not seem to match Glenn Beck’s claim of a bunch of disrespectful football players:
It looked to me like quite a few of the players were being respectful, including Heinz Ward of the Steelers and Donald Driver of the Packers. Sure A.J. Hawk of the Packers and Brett Keisel of the Steelers looked fidgety, but they were about to play in the biggest game of their lives. I am sure that many of the players were nervous. Whether Beck likes it or not, these guys hear the anthem before every game. It is a formality for them. This doesn’t make them un-patriotic or bad Americans.
The players seemed to start talking to each other after Christina Aguilera botched the national anthem. Glenn Beck’s generalization that NFL football players are somehow not thankful for their success and fame because they didn’t respect the national anthem was another example of the right attaching their definition of patriotism to everything, even the Super Bowl.
One of the great things about this country is that we are free to stand or not stand, or place our hand or not when the national anthem is played. We don’t have to do it Glenn Beck’s way. There is no law telling us that we must all stand for the national anthem. Our ability as individuals to make decisions without the state telling us what to do is what makes us free.
Before Glenn Beck goes on another bender of moral outrage and conspiracy over individual rights being taken away by the government, he should look in the mirror, because his imposition of the right’s morality on us all is a greater threat to our freedom than any government conspiracy that he can imagine ever could be.