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Why the need to proclaim patriotism?

The growing flap over sitting during the national anthem is based on something that ought to be changed: playing a national anthem at every major sporting event (and even “America the Beautiful” during some events) [“Seahawks’ Doug Baldwin, Bobby Wagner considering expanding national-anthem protest,” Sports, Sept. 8].

Are we Americans so thin-skinned about our identity that we need to proclaim patriotism everywhere? Does anyone really think those attending and playing don’t understand “freedom” (not to mention capitalism)? I am a decorated Vietnam-era veteran and see no reason at all for this practice. “Play ball” (or similar encouragements) ought to start events, not a demand to evidence patriotism. What are we afraid of, anyway?

Bill Kirlin-Hackett, Lynnwood

A stand against Hawks

I have been a Seahawks fan from Day One. But I swear as God is my witness, if they disrespect our flag and country by not honoring our national anthem, every Seahawk item, decal and the large flag I fly in the front of our house goes in the fire — and I have a lot of Seahawk paraphernalia.

Our men and women fight and die so those players can stand on the sideline and disrespect our flag. If they actually have a cause that they believe in, such as equality for all, then they can get off their butts and help do something about it. After all, they get paid millions and play a game they love because our troops allow them that right, too.

I realize that I am only one fan in thousands, and this letter will not make a difference. But it will break my heart if they take that stance against our national anthem.

Mark Tucker, Walla Wall