Would Spock kneel for the Anthem?

Photo by Dallas Cowboys Twitter Account

Logic does not seem to apply to the anthem-kneeling dispute raging now, but what if it did? We consulted Star Trek's Mr. Spock, the ultra-logical half-Vulcan/half-human:

Q: Would you take a knee if you were a football player?

            A: What is a football player?

Q: A large, highly trained athlete who plays a sport where he collides with other large, highly trained athletes.

            A: I wouldn't do that.

Q: Assuming you would, how would you respond to the current kneeling controversy?

            A: I have no problem with kneeling.

Q: What about kneeling as a social protest?

            A: What is the connection between the game and the social protest?

Q: The national anthem is played before the game, and those who protest some aspect of the nation whose anthem is being played kneel to symbolize that.

            A: Why is the national anthem being played at a sporting event?

Q: It started as a patriotic tradition during a previous war.

            A: Is the anthem played at other public events, like plays or operas?

Q: No.

            A: Then why is it played at sporting events? Is there some special connection between sporting events and what's being protested?

Q: No.

            A: Then why is this happening?

Q: Because athletes want to express themselves on these issues.

            A: Do all the athletes agree on these issues?

Q: No.

            A: So how is it determined what views get expressed?

Q: There is no organized process for that.

            A: That does not seem very logical. Why bother if people have different views?

Q: Because the athletes are role models for the fans.

            A: Is that why the fans come to the sporting events?

Q: No, they come to see the sporting event.

            A: Then shouldn't these protests occur elsewhere?

Q: At the games is where the protests get the most exposure.

            A: Then why not just stop playing the national anthem?

Q: That would be a loss of face for certain politicians and owners and is not likely to happen at this point.

            A: How can politicians succeed if they don't act rationally?

Q: That's a long story.

            A: That does not sound like a good way to live long and prosper.

Ronald S. Katz

Attorney, chair emeritus of the Institute of Sports Law and Ethics at the University of the Pacific

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