Sunday was a warm night here in my Texas hometown, so I decided to work outside rather than sit in front of a television set watching football.  Only when it got dark did I come in to the second half of the game. But by that time, “conservative Twitter” freaked out over the fact that Beyonce and Jay-Z did not stand during the national anthem.

Here’s the video, with a pretty typical response by some of the people online:

“While thousands of proud Americans stood in-allegiance for the National Anthem, Jay-Z and Beyonce sat in silence,” tweeted Andrew Pollack.  “America has no place for unpatriotic scum like these two. Kick them and Colin Kaepernick right down to Mexico!#fixit”

“I don’t give a damn whether Beyonce and Jay Z agree with the current administration. They should stand up for the men and women who are fighting each and every day for their ability to rake in millions from the American people. Absolutely pathetic!” tweeted Kyle Morris of Breitbart News.

Jay-Z still supports Black Lives Matter, even though he recently received a great amount of criticism for signing a lucrative contract with the NFL.

The league suffered great financial impact when fans were sick and tired of the players, led by like Kaepernick, kneeling in protest during the national anthem.  To counteract that negative publicity, it looks like the NFL is attempting to swing the pendulum to the other side.  For Super Bowl LIV, the NFL invited Retired Colonel Charles McGee, a member of Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, to assist in the coin toss.  And Demi Lovato apparently killed the Star Spangled Banner. 

But all that patriotism was not enough.  When Jay-Z and Beyonce did not stand for the anthem, people on Twitter discombobulated.

Here’s my take.  I’ve long disapproved players like Kaepernick “taking the knee” during the National Anthem, because it is against NFL rules for employees.  The NFL has every right to do whatever it thinks it should in regard to its employees and contractors (within the law) to protect its brand.  If they think it’s bad for business to have players show that sort of disrespect to our country, they can stop it from happening.

But NFL rules for employees are a different than NFL rules for the crowd. The people in the crowd are allowed to sit, stand, dance, or sleep through the national anthem – and I support them doing so.

There’s enough terrible stuff happening in the world that we shouldn’t mock people for their deeply held political beliefs.  Let pop stars and mailmen and teachers and preachers and cake bakers (yes!) express their beliefs passionately.  The answer to bad speech isn’t to shame people for speaking out.

The answer to bad speech is better speech.

And, sorry, the vitriol on Twitter does not qualify.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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