Responding to ESPN commentator Kevin Blackistone’s statements on last Wednesday’s Around the Horn that the national anthem is a “war anthem” and should not be played before sporting events, retired Lt. Col. Allen West told Breitbart News on Monday that Blackistone’s commentary was “insidious drivel.”
[Y]ou should also be selling the rest of the military symbolism embrace of sports. Whether it’s the singing of a war anthem to open every game. Whether it’s going to get a hotdog and being able to sign up for the Army at the same time. Whether it’s the NFL’s embrace of the mythology of the Pat Tillman story. It has been going on in sports since the first National Anthem was played in the World Series back in 1917. And it’s time for people to back away….You are conflating a war anthem with a simple game. When you have military flyovers and the military symbolism that goes on in sports, I think you’ve got a problem.
West shot back by stating that Blackistone “represents the typical liberal progressive socialist intelligentsia that fails to realize that outside the classroom no one cares what they think. One day this incompetent fellow will come to realize that because of those who salute when the National Anthem is played, he has the freedom to say stupid things.”
West added, “However, I would caution him to refrain from spewing his insidious drivel in the company of current or retired Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen as we may feel compelled to provide a lesson in American history and respect to our national character and themes.”
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.