Teams, fans should so respect that’s due

Published 3:55 pm Monday, September 3, 2012

A Southside Panther stands respectively during the playing of the National Anthem during last year’s Selma-Southside football game at Selma’s Memorial Stadium. -- Ashley Johnson

Many times, we have taken to this space and defended the right to free speech, the freedom for someone to express themselves and the right to stand for what someone believes. It would be hypocritical for us to do otherwise, since the act of publishing this newspaper falls under the same set of protections.

But, there comes a point and time when we see something, notice a trend, that deserves to be discussed. The level of respect —or lack thereof — shown by some during the playing of the National Anthem or the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance.

We understand the right to not sing along, or to not place the right hand over the heart, are well within someone’s rights.

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But what is disappointing is the display many make while either the Anthem or the Pledge is being presented.

Most recently, we have seen plenty of displays of such disrespect by some football players and fans at area football games.

Many forget the right to act disrespectful, or the right to not sing along or recite the pledge, are freedoms and rights afforded us by those who died fighting for our freedoms.

If you don’t sing along, or don’t recite the pledge, that is your right — but at the very least, stand quietly and show the respect due those who died giving you the right to do so.