Christian college mandates class on ‘patriotism’ as poll shows NFL protests gain more support
Patriotism Class Required At Private College As Acceptance Of NFL Protests Grows
The topic of patriotism has certainly been escalated in recent weeks and continues to be a hot button issue in media. Republican Donald Trump has heavily criticized NFL players protesting the national anthem while completely ignoring their actual reasons for beginning the protest. And now a private college has decided to take the idea to another level.
The College of the Ozarks in Missouri has decided to require students take the Patriotic Education Fitness Class. The Associated Press reports the course will combine elements of various classes:
The course aims to educate students on modern military customs, U.S. politics and flag protocol. It will also teach rifle marksmanship, map reading and rope knotting.
This isn’t the first message the Christian college is sending to its students about forced patriotism. AP notes the college announced a month ago that “its teams won’t compete against other teams whose players don’t stand for the anthem.”
The president of the College of the Ozarks stated that patriotism is something that must be taught, otherwise known as patriotism through indoctrination.
“Patriotic education is not inherited: It must be taught, it must be modeled, and it must be emphasized,” said CofO President Jerry Davis.
“It’s the United States of America, not the diversified states of America.”
The college takes this step as new polling data shows “growing support” for national anthem protests by professional athletes.
A new HBO Sports/Marist poll released yesterday showed a marked increase for sports leagues not requiring their players to stand for the anthem. In just one month, the percent of people believing leagues should not require players to stand went from 43 percent to 51 percent.
The poll also notes a steady upswing in interest in the NFL in recent years.
Football viewership has remained steady. Today, 69% of U.S. adults say they watch or follow the sport at least a little. Of note, when Marist first started tracking this question in August 2009, when Michael Vick was returning to the NFL after serving time for his involvement in a dog fighting ring, only 56% of Americans said they followed the game at least a little.
Republican Donald Trump has sent a slew of Tweets admonishing NFL players for not standing during the national anthem. At no point has he ever addressed the reason blackballed quarterback Colin Kaepernick actually began his protest. Kaepernick explained his reasons in detail at the time (video below).
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
The forced patriotism suggested by both Trump and the College of the Ozarks is rather reminiscent of authoritarian regimes around the world pushing nationalism on their people, particularly when it ignores injustices in society. And players in the NFL certainly took notice of that when Trump began his attacks.
Donald Trump and other entities will continue to push patriotism while ignoring the reasons players are taking such stands against injustice. And history will one day look back and excoriate Trump and his ilk for turning a blind eye to the obvious problems that still hurt so many across the United States.
Featured image via Michael Reaves/Getty Images.
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