There was a lot of disrespect in Chicago last night.
On Monday night in Chicago, before the Bears hosted the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football, decency and respect shockingly took a backseat to selfishness and possibly support for ISIS, who knows. As Jim Cornelison belted out the most important song ever written, a Cavaliers fan was too busy to hold the flag—it is a federal offense to let it touch the ground, mind you—and was instead more concerned with whatever was on his phone. We can go out on a limb and guess he was not looking up the United States Flag Code, since he would've known that taking videos or selfies during the national anthem will earn you a one way ticket to Fort Leavenworth.
To add insult to injury, Staley Da Bear, the Chicago Bears mascot, refused to remove his head, despite Bears public address announcer Jim Riebandt's specific instructions. Instead, Mr. Da Bear stood there, nodding along like a goofball to the song while everyone else in the building had the courtesy to not be ridiculous.
If you want to do these things, as some form of protest, perhaps to draw attention to the tyranny of technology, or to highlight the criminally painful naming of mascots, that is your right as an American and/or American in a plush fur costume. But there is a time and place for everything and the national anthem is literally off limits to everything but off-key singing or lip synching. Plus, you need to articulate your reasons better than what we've heard so far—which is nothing. And maybe give some thought to where we go from here. Are you out there in the community raising awareness, putting your money where your mouths are? It seems like this more about the individuals involved and that only makes it worse.
Oh, also, four Eagles rose their fists in solidarity with 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick, saying they wanted to further the national conversation he started about police brutality, oppression, and inequality in the United States of America. Earlier in the evening, we learned Tulsa police shot and killed Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man over the weekend, whose only crime was experiencing car trouble.