Last week, the 9/11 Memorial Museum hosted a special public program on how expressions of patriotism became embedded in American sports in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and why these displays persist today.
Sports columnist Howard Bryant, author of "The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism," and USA Today columnist and CNN and ABC News commentator Christine Brennan spoke with Executive Vice President and Deputy Director for Museum Programs Clifford Chanin about these new traditions that still exist across the spectrum of sports in America.
Both Brennan and Bryant addressed the fatigue some Americans feel in seeing politics and displays of patriotism interjected into sporting events. “Sports is much more now a mirror of our society… and that is what I think troubles some sports fans,” said Brennan.
In the clip below, Bryant expands on the state of the sporting field as a site for protest.
“You had this collision of patriotism taking place on the field, but now you had this renewed activism on the part of the player colliding and to me, the reason is because of 9/11. The reason why you’re having F-14 flyovers at Cowboys games is because of the commercialism of this day. And my argument of course is that, one, ‘stick to sports’ has never existed, but also neither patriotism nor protest should be for sale and today both are for sale.”
By 9/11 Memorial Staff