Former ESPN commentator Jemele Hill has, to the best of our knowledge, never been right about anything in her professional life, so we were not surprised to read her most recent column for The Atlantic.
Hill, who is a rabid social justice warrior, wrote the piece after it came out that Mark Cuban would not allow the national anthem to be played before Dallas Mavericks games. This story prompted NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to correct the record and release a statement insisting that all teams would be playing the anthem, including Cuban’s.
To Hill, of course, this is another chapter in America’s unending Book of White Supremacy. Invoking Francis Scott Key’s history as a slave owner and the song’s third verse (which has never in history been played before an NBA game) that says that neither the “hireling nor the slave” will find refuge, Hill concludes that it’s time for America to move on from the anthem.
“Americans have seen far too many images of white supremacists waving the national flag and shouting patriotic slogans,” she wrote. “The insurrectionists at the U.S. Capitol did just that, even as they tried to overturn a free election. Trump and many other Republicans who impugned Kaepernick’s patriotism now want the rest of the country to ignore the Capitol riot and move on. If it wasn’t clear before why people of color feel uncomfortable with the conservative definition of patriotism, it should be now.
“Amid the renewed attention to forms of racial injustice ingrained in American life, the NBA’s decision to strong-arm teams into playing the national anthem just doesn’t seem right,” she continued. “It will embolden people who insist upon an exclusive form of patriotism.”
Indeed. Some people feel patriotic when they stand for the anthem and place their hands over their hearts; others feel patriotic when they burn down a local Target. Who is the NBA to say that one should be preferred over the other?
“When the Mavericks stopped playing the national anthem, Silver should have been similarly accommodating—and taken advantage of the opportunity to lift the league’s anthem rule. Whatever the NBA decided was going to outrage someone. But mandatory patriotism doesn’t give Americans reason for pride; it only highlights the country’s failures,” Hill concluded.
Like we said: Hill, to the best of our knowledge, has never been right about anything. Her streak of incorrectness was not broken this week.