U.S. Olympian Gwen Berry turns back during National AnthemAn Appeal to Activist Athletes at the Olympic Games, by Jeff Kemper The Society July 23, 2021 Culture, Poetry 19 Comments . A Little Respect an appeal to activist athletes at the Olympic games You have the right to speak of truth or trash __In houses, restaurants, and streets; To turn the flag of freedom-land to ash, __The flag for which your team competes; And you may spurn your liberty for cash __With other privileged athletes. But get thee hence! Depart! Get out, I say, __From stadiums! Your splashing splay Of gripes and manifestos keep away __From fields and floors and courts of clay! And spare the innocent your judgment day; __Turn not my blessed anthem gray! Let freedom win and cherished games begin __Without your bitter, racist claims. So put the shot and throw the javelin __And hammer without casting names And shaming your own people when you win. __Respect your nation at the games! . . Jeff Kemper has been a biology teacher, biblical studies instructor, editor, and painting contractor. He lives in York County, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 19 Responses jd July 24, 2021 Enjoyed your timely poem, Jeff. It offers excellent advice using good rhyme and cadence. I only wish more would listen! Reply Jeff Kemper July 24, 2021 Thanks, JD. The madness is, I think, a fad by which they deem themselves wise. Reply Brian Yapko July 24, 2021 If I had an employee represent my company and then disrespect it in public I would fire them on the spot. How easy to bite the hand that feeds one. Athletes have a choice. If they dislike our country so much they can leave. Anything else is rank hypocrisy. Reply Jeff Kemper July 24, 2021 Precisely. Reply Joseph S. Salemi July 24, 2021 It makes no sense to try and “appeal” to these scum. They are not amenable to anything that questions their basic assumptions, or their “woke” ideology. Reply Jeff Kemper July 24, 2021 You’re right. Actually, I was venting. One cannot protest systemic racism in the least racist nation in the world and be a thinking person. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 24, 2021 Jeff, I appreciate you standing up for the American flag when many are kneeling. I especially like the passion of the second stanza. Why on earth would athletes want to represent a country they hate?! I agree wholeheartedly with Brian. I agree with Dr. Salemi too. When I make an effort to bring the truth to the fore, it’s for those whose eyes are yet to be opened in the hope that they will see through this madness too. One can but hope poetry makes a difference. Jeff, yours is bold enough and loud enough to turn heads. Let’s hope it turns a few hearts as well. Thank you! Reply Jeff Kemper July 24, 2021 Some of these athletes will look back in a few years and be embarrassed. Hopefully! Reply Julian D. Woodruff July 24, 2021 Jeff, I’m sure your sentiments are seconded by almost everyone who visits this site. For myself, except for wanting to see that women can compete against women only (the basic level playing field idea), I’m increasingly jaundiced about organized competitive sports. Let’s just go for a hike or play a game of ping-pong–that’s more my idea. I’m impressed with your ABA form here. The rhyme repetitions of the 2nd stanza seem to be throwing the mindless repeated slogans of various stripes of protesters right back in their faces. Reply Jeff Kemper July 24, 2021 Thanks. It is a shame that woke politics has infected every aspect of the American culture. I once enjoyed watching the Olympic games. Reply C.B. Anderson July 25, 2021 I hear you, Jeff, but I decided a long time ago that I don’t give a damn about the political opinions of professional (or amateur) athletes. Athletes, after all, are lauded for their physical accomplishments, not for their mental or moral acuity. Reply Jeff Kemper July 27, 2021 What can I say? There has to come a time when a generation of sentient beings says, “Enough, already!” Don’t you think? Reply Joseph S. Salemi July 25, 2021 Look what feminist ideology did to the Miss America contest. Instead of being an honest celebration of womanly pulchritude, it’s now a narrow, politically correct ritual so boring and tedious that its audience is melting away like an ice cube in July. Look at what “woke” insanity did to the Oscars, which is also becoming an unwatched joke. It was only a matter of time before professional sports became infected with this kind of mass hysteria. And as Kip says, professional athletes are not always the brightest bulbs in the chandelier — they frequently get caught up in trendy stupidity. The best revenge we can take is to change channels on the TV remote, and simply NOT WATCH any of this corrupted and co-opted garbage. Hit the owners, managers, and sponsors of these entertainments where it really hurts — in their wallets. Reply Jeff Kemper July 27, 2021 I’m almost to the point of pretending they do not exist, but I haven’t yet arrived. Reply Sally Cook July 27, 2021 I saw this coming years ago in the arts, when the ugly, superficial and stupid was beginning to be praised for what it was. Lack of standards, some are so hatefilled and stupid they can’t hear anything but their own vicious squawking. And we are being told to accept such a gang as leaders? Reply Sally Cook July 27, 2021 And it has very little to do with race. Rather, it has everyithing to do with Power with a capital P and corruption. Read Saul Alinsky – he lays it all out for you. Reply Patricia Redfern August 5, 2021 Power! Sally, you hit the nail on the head! Thank you. Reply Joseph S. Salemi July 27, 2021 Alinsky was a vicious and dangerous bastard whose entire agenda in life was to remake society into a leftist dystopia. And he cared nothing about the means to that end: lying, manipulation, cheating, disinformation, browbeating… as long as it worked, Saul Alinsky supported it. Reply Lord August 8, 2021 Nice thoughts…decorum can’t be overemphasised Reply Leave a Reply to Joseph S. Salemi Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.