Comedian Jon Stewart recently revealed that he finds the “whole diet” of playing the US national anthem before sporting events to be “such a strange ritual”.
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On the latest episode of his self-titled podcast, The Problem With Jon Stewart, the comedian was joined for a short time by billionaire entrepreneur and NBA Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
Following Cuba’s departure, Stewart’s co-host Rob Christensen said he would have liked the chance to ask the Dallas Mavericks owner for some insight into his decision since to stop playing the national anthem before the his team’s home games.
At that time, Stewart said that he not only didn’t know Cuban had made that decision, he didn’t even know when or why the practice started, stating that said practice was “such a strange ritual”.
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Continuing on the subject, Stewart said: “You know, I always thought of when [Colin] Kaepernick took the knee and it was like ‘You gotta defend the anthem’. Now, I imagine, like, in the living rooms, the guys make nachos and fucking wings, then the anthem starts and they just have to [stand up].”
“Like, why is it when the anthem is on, you just have to stand up if you’re there, but the transitive principle through the TV…if it’s through the TV, you can do whatever you want. You could take it during the national anthem as a patriot,” he concluded. “But, if you’re at the stadium, you have to… there’s like a whole diet that you have to follow .”
The Dallas Mavericks stopped playing The Star-Spangled Banner before their home games in February 2021 at the request of Cuban himself. However, the entrepreneur reversed his decision soon after.
“We’re still talking to our community,” Cuban told former ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols of his turnaround in an interview later that same month. “I mean, it’s something [Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynthia Marshall] represents and insists a lot on, and has become a central part of who we are at the Dallas Mavericks. And listening to the community, there were quite a few people who expressed their concerns, really their fears that the national anthem doesn’t fully represent them, that their voices aren’t heard.
“So we had a lot of conversations about whether or not we should play the anthem, and in the first pre-season game we decided not to play it and see what the response was, knowing we were going to having conversations about it,” Cuban further revealed, clarifying, “We made no decision to ever play the national anthem; that was not the case at all.
Cuba’s decision to start playing The Star-Spangled Banner again came at the same time the NBA issued a official statement addressing the situation in which they said, “With NBA teams now welcoming fans into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in accordance with longstanding league policy.”
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Former San Francisco 49ers NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who Stewart also referenced, is credited with starting the trend of kneeling before the national anthem at sporting events when, in August 2016 , he bluntly declined to portray The Star-Spangled Banner.
“I’m not going to stand up to show flag pride for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick Recount NFL Media at the time. “To me, it’s bigger than football and it would be selfish of me to look the other way. There are bodies on the streets and people being given paid time off and getting away with murder.
As for Stewart’s original question, although playing The Star-Spangled Banner before sporting events dates back to the late 1800s, it was cemented as standard practice during Major League Baseball’s 1918 World Series between the Red Sox and Chicago Cubs.
Played in the game’s seventh inning as a symbol of support amid the country’s relatively recent involvement in World War I, the unbridled feelings of American patriotism inspired Francis Scott Key’s famous performance, who made his performance a national sports tradition.
Stewart made headlines earlier this month after an excerpt from a December 2021 episode of his podcast, in which he accused British author JK Rowling of promoting anti-Semitism in the Harry Potter series, started making the rounds online.
In the clip, the comedian tells his co-hosts that the goblins who ran Gringotts Bank in Harry Potter were based on racist caricatures of Jews from the anti-Semitic text The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, stating, “Let me tell you show this. It’s from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. I just want to show a cartoon, and they’re like, ‘Oh, look at this. It’s from Harry Potter, and you say ‘No’. It is a caricature of a Jew taken from anti-Semitic literature.’ »
He continued: “JK Rowling was like, ‘Can we get these guys to run our bank?’ And you’re like, “It’s…it’s a wizarding world. It’s a world where that’s the way it is. The train station has half a thing and no one can see it. And we can ride dragons and you have a pet owl. Who should run the bank? The Jews.”
As soon as the comedian saw that the aforementioned clip from his self-titled podcast was trending on social media, Jon Stewart went into full damage control mode and claimed his comments about JK Rowling being anti-Semitic were nothing short of funny. other than “light talk”. between colleagues and friends.
“So let me just say this. Super clearly, as clearly as possible. Hello, my name is Jon Stewart. I don’t think JK Rowling is anti-Semitic. I did not accuse her of being anti-Semitic. I don’t think the Harry Potter movies are anti-Semitic,” Stewart explained.
He explained: “I really like the Harry Potter films. Probably too much for a gentleman of my considerable age. So, I would just like to say that none of this is true, and no reasonable person could have watched this conversation and not find it lighthearted.
What do you think of Stewart’s take on performing the national anthem before American sporting events? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on social media.
FOLLOWING: Damage control: Jon Stewart now claims he never accused JK Rowling of promoting anti-Semitism in Harry Potter