It is a longstanding tradition in the United States to play the national anthem before sporting events, with those present standing at attention with their right hand over their heart. Since 2016, however, some professional athletes have silently protested police brutality and racial inequality by kneeling during the playing of the anthem. Such demonstrations have generated mixed reactions, with some calling the protests unpatriotic and disrespectful of the U.S. flag, the national anthem, the police, and the military, and leading Donald Trump to say, “How dare you exercise your freedoms while we’re honoring them.”
Are these protests unpatriotic, or are those kneeling simply doing so for a better world, a world without borders?
“I don’t believe in nations. If I am listened to then I will say that India should be the first country to renounce nationalism. It would be good if the country of Krishna, Buddha, Patanjali and Gorakh renounces nationalism and says we are an international area. India should become an area of the United Nations Assembly. It should be said that we are the first nation that entrusts itself to the United Nations – you take custody. Someone must start it. And if it is started there is no need for wars. These wars will continue as long as there are borders. These borders must go. He is right it can be said that I am a traitor – in the sense that I am not a traitor to humanity. But all your lovers of nations are traitors to humanity. The very meaning of patriotism is treason towards humanity. Love of nation means dividing into parts. You have seen haven’t you that a person who is patriotic towards his region becomes an enemy of the nation. And one who is patriotic towards his district becomes an enemy of the region. I am not an enemy of the nation, my idea is international. This whole earth is one. I want to abandon the small for the vast. And these small-small enclosures, these dikes have troubled man too much. In three thousand years five thousand wars have been fought. And previously it was okay if wars fought with bows and arrows went on happening, there was no harm. If a few people died there was no problem. Now, war is total war. Now it is the suicide of all mankind. Now every place can become a Hiroshima – any day, at any moment…. Consider the horror of this war and think of how much energy is going into it. This same energy can fill the entire earth with greenery, can fill it with prosperity. For the first time man can dance absorbed in bliss, can sing songs of ecstasy, can follow the quest of meditation. But this will not happen. Your so-called patriots, these nationalists….
“Nationalism is a great sin. It is due to this nationalism that all these problems exist in the world. I am not a nationalist. I want to break all boundaries. Whoever on this earth who has received a small glimpse of the truth has no boundaries. They do not belong to any country, any community, any class, any sect, any caste.”