Sportswriter Thinks the American Flag and Military Flyovers Are Political

I like sports to be politics free. When I watch a baseball game, the last thing I want to hear about is politics – even when I agree with whatever issue may be front and center. 

Major League Baseball teams do a great job keeping politics to a minimum. RedState writer Jay Caruso expressed his opinion:

“If Major League Baseball dives head first into politics, it won’t be long before players are asked not about a win or loss, but rather called upon to offer their view of President Donald Trump’s latest tweetstorm. Politics will become intertwined with baseball, to the detriment of the game.”- JAY CARUSO

Many people are content to let politics encroach on every area of their lives, and that includes both liberals and conservatives. That’s certainly their prerogative, but for others, myself included, the escape from politics is a nice departure from time to time. 

Baseball is underway and yesterday afternoon I took some time to watch my White Sox play the Minnesota Twins. The entire time I watched, I couldn’t have cared less what Donald Trump tweeted or anything about what the speculation news outlets were reporting. I was just watching baseball. 

Displays of the American flag and military flyovers before the start of games is quite common, and there’s no political element. It’s simply a patriotic symbol and a nod to the men and women who wear the uniform, ready to fight when called upon to do so. One NBC sportswriter sees it differently:

“Will you keep politics out of sports, please. We like sports to be politics-free.”- (tweeted with an attachment of an American flag on a baseball field) CRAIG CALCATERRA, NBC SPORTSWRITER 

Calcaterra’s first issue is that he’s a Dodgers fan. I’ll write that off as a character flaw, but more important is his absurd conclusion that what we see here is anything “political.” He was challenged on that and said in subsequent tweets:

“Maybe a flag, in and of itself isn’t always political. A two-acre flag with a military flyover is saying something very specific, however.”

So? Just because the flag and a military flyover are “saying something very specific” doesn’t make it a political statement. Two other tweets get to the root of Craig’s ‘problem.’

“[Having non-political love for one’s country] requires people to accept those who question our leaders and do not support all military ventures can still be patriots… Conspicuous patriotism is often used as a cudgel to silence/shame those who question our leaders.”- CALCATERRA

What Calcaterra is doing here is engaging in the fallacy known as a red herring. Calcaterra is discussing Topic A – He insinuates the American flag and a military flyover are political. He then introduces Topic B – Those who question military ventures are silenced and cudgeled under the banner of “patriotism” claiming it is relevant somehow to Topic A. He then hopes people forget about Topic A. 

He tried another tactic when he tweeted a long, lengthy passage from Wikipedia about the history of the American flag lapel pin, in how the Nixon administration first used American lapel pin as a symbol of patriotic solidarity against the anti-Vietnam protesters. In this example, he’s engaging in a diversionary tactic. He’s taking an example of when the flag was used as a political tool to deflect away from his original contention, which is the mere display of a giant American flag and a military flyover is inherently political.

In conclusion, Calcaterra (as a sportswriter) should not involved in any way in politics. I don’t buy his argument. There is no need for it, but especially when he makes delusional statements when he knows that he’s completely wrong. 


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