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.

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19 Responses

  1. jd

    Enjoyed your timely poem, Jeff. It offers excellent
    advice using good rhyme and cadence. I only wish more would listen!

    • Jeff Kemper

      Thanks, JD. The madness is, I think, a fad by which they deem themselves wise.

  2. Brian Yapko

    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.

  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    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.

    • Jeff Kemper

      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.

  4. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    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!

    • Jeff Kemper

      Some of these athletes will look back in a few years and be embarrassed. Hopefully!

  5. Julian D. Woodruff

    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.

  6. Jeff Kemper

    Thanks. It is a shame that woke politics has infected every aspect of the American culture. I once enjoyed watching the Olympic games.

  7. C.B. Anderson

    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.

    • Jeff Kemper

      What can I say? There has to come a time when a generation of sentient beings says, “Enough, already!” Don’t you think?

  8. Joseph S. Salemi

    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.

    • Jeff Kemper

      I’m almost to the point of pretending they do not exist, but I haven’t yet arrived.

  9. Sally Cook

    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?

  10. Sally Cook

    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.

  11. Joseph S. Salemi

    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.


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