ESPN Columnist Slams Cops Singing National Anthem

Fox News reports that ESPN Magazine‘s Howard Bryant wrote in a new column that cops singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” is “staged patriotism,” arguing that it signals an “authoritarian shift at the ballpark.”

“Why don’t more athletes speak out on behalf of their communities?” Bryant wrote. “Perhaps more of them would if there wasn’t a chilling force looming over them.”

The assertion by Bryant is ridiculous and he is part of the problem.  Personalities such as Bryant have a duty to be informed and to say things that are intelligent instead of furthering an agenda that just happens to not be true.

The truth is there were 40 shootings in Chicago this weekend alone.  Who does Mr. Bryant think responded and investigated those shootings? Who does he think stands in the gap between these street criminals and good, hard working citizens?

Well it is not him but he does have a huge platform where he could help and he chooses to make some absurd claims with law enforcement being the problem.

Of course Bryant isn’t new to making absurd claims against law enforcement.  He maintained that his 2011 arrest was racially motivated.

Bryant was arrested on several charges, including assaulting his wife, committing battery on a police officer and resisting arrest outside a western Massachusetts pizzeria.  Multiple witnesses called to say Bryant put his hands around a woman’s neck. When authorities arrived, he refused an officer’s order and struck one of them in the chest.

Just two weeks after the incident, Bryant began writing again for ESPN.  He later agreed to serve six months of pretrial probation in exchange for a clean record afterwards.

ESPN should be ashamed of themselves.

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Travis Yates is a writer and editor at Law Officer. An ILEETA Trainer of the Year, his Seminars in Risk Management & Officer Safety have been taught across the United States & Canada. Major Yates is a current Doctoral Student in Strategic Leadership and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He is the Director of Training for Law Officer  ( and the Founder of the Courageous Leadership Institute (, providing leadership consulting and training to law enforcement around the world.




  1. Yip Yap

    I stopped watching or listening to ESPN years ago when it became PC at the expense of truth and fairness.

    Disney, has turned into an anti-American pro-leftist company that fires Americans and replaces them with fake H1b Visa Mexicans.

  2. Thomas Burgess

    Everything I hear about ESPN as of late makes me want to X them from my lineup. They are a Liberal left wing mouthpiece.

  3. Greg

    Shocking! A patriot member of law enforcement sings the national anthem…someone who swears to protect the Constitution of the United States of America singing the Star Spangled Banner. Blasphemy! Where was a real celebrity who has never once written a blank check for everything, including their life, to protect others? Terrible.
    //Sarcasm button off.

  4. Éamon deValera

    I pay seven dollars a month for ESPN, not because I want ESPN, but because the cable company forces it on me.
    I need the cops. I don’t need political diatribes about sports from ESPN staff.
    A cop saved my life about 20 years ago. Mr. Bryant is just a dope.

  5. Katrina

    Bryant’s 2011 claims of “racial motivation” says all there is to say about him. If you are black you are above the law.

  6. ButtercupKelley

    Screw Howard, and screw ESPN. I’m sick of their left wing, anti-police leanings. I’ll never pay for another TV package that includes them.

  7. Charlene

    ESPN needs banned. To even allow these type of statements to be in print shows that they have no regard for our nation and only stirs the pot of the already overboiling thugs in this country. Bryant is one of them and you continue to ignore it. He should have been fired after his criminal behavior. But no…he is rewarded by you and the courts. Very disgusting.

  8. h8 ynerz

    Nobody should be surprised this came from Howard Bryant. He has a long history of race baiting.

    • usaok59

      It shows what ESPN has become, a vehicle for stirring up dissension.

  9. markcwells

    Actually, police stops are down 90% in Chicago. The CPD is having a work slow down in the wake of Officer Jason Van Dyke’s arrest. Can you honestly say they are investigating those shootings? I would have to see some concrete evidence before I believe that. I’m sorry for the good cops in Chicago, but they have one of the worst, most corrupt police department in the country. The whole city is corrupt. They vote for corrupt politicians, so it shouldn’t be a shock to anyone.

    • Ken Daniels

      So the whole department is corrupt? Police stops down 90%. I would have to see more concrete evidence before I believe that.

      First, the point of the article above has NOTHING to do with your post. Second, Chicago is run by democrates, it has been for years. Their policies are to blame not the police force. The Mayor, City Council and Police Chief are not being held accountable. The same people vote the same way year after year. It will become another banckupt city just like Detroit. Then these liberal loons will try and find any way they can to blame Bush. These liberal policies stop officers from doing their jobs.

      Maybe before you make up some dumb ass comments you should do a ride along with one of these officers and see first hand what they do and what they have to deal with.

      • markcwells

        1) This very website posted the article about stops being down 90% (published March 3rd).
        2) My comment is aimed at the reference to 40 shootings in Chicago made in the 4th paragraph of the article. Perhaps you didn’t read the article or skipped that paragraph.
        3) I didn’t mention anything about political party. But yes, Chicago is obviously a democratic town. I also mentioned the entire city government is corrupt from top to bottom.
        4) It’s “bankrupt”, not “banckupt”.
        5) Your’e absolutely right the mayor, city council, and police chief should be held responsible for many things they are not. But the work slow down was organized by the FOP (police union), not city government.
        6) Please post a video of your ride along. Wear a vest and try not to get shot.

        • ulises ocana

          You speak as if you are a police officer from Chicago, and your assertive statements (mainly based off of this article) really don’t show any real proof that the work slow down has been organized by FOP. You mention something about posting a video of a “ride along” and wearing a vest, while trying not to get shot. I would halfway recommend that, unless you have some real proof behind what you’ve states, you should just keep your comments to yourself. And for the record, try and put on a uniform and a vest, and then try not to get shot, but also try not to do your job without getting criticized by people who have no idea what you go through on a daily basis.

          • markcwells

            I am not a police officer. If you think the public has no say in the matter, you are sorely mistaken.

            I feel sorry for the good police officers of Chicago, for one having to work such dangerous streets. And second having to work in a department with such a terrible reputation for corruption. Chicago does almost nothing to discipline dirty cops or clean house. There is such a long list of corrupt cops at the CPD who have eventually been brought to justice only by accident or by an FBI sting operation.

            If you don’t believe me, do some research; Jon Burge, Joseph Miedzianowski, Jerome Finnigan, Kieth Herrera, Frank Villareal, Eric Olsen, Stephen DelBosque, etc, etc, etc. These guy had hundred and hundreds of complaints, but were never investigated internally until the FBI got involved. Chicago is as dirty as it gets and everyone knows it.

    • Katrina

      The officers on the street aren’t ABLE to do their jobs. Why stop someone when they are turned back out on the street after filing a false claim of brutality — that stays in the officer’s file even when false. It is the leadership that is corrupt. Every arrest is gone over looking for anything the officer could have possibly done wrong, while false claims by suspects aren’t prosecuted or even investigated. It isn’t the fault of the officers on the street that minorities have become a protected class that can’t be prosecuted or even arrested.

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