The Minnesota Twins just went 8-3 during an 11-game homestand and would be in the playoffs if the season ended today (May 8). Yet what's happening off the field before the game even starts seems to be getting more attention than what's happening on it, during the games.
The National Anthem and sporting events have almost become synonymous. Whether it's a high school, college or professional game, nearly every game in America begins with the national anthem.
By now, we know the process: the introductions are made, the players come out and the song begins, however things aren't happening quite like that for the Minnesota Twins.
As you can see in the above image from Kip Carver, it looks like many Twins – most of them in fact – are skipping the anthem and it's making some unhappy. Here is what Carver told WCCO about his picture.
"That's just unacceptable. I see seven Twins standing in front of the dugout, and I look toward the White Sox dugout. I'm not sure how many but an entire line of folks."
There are others who feel similarly.
So WCCO asked Twins president Dave St. Peter why so many players don't participate.
"If a player isn't on the line, it doesn't mean he doesn't respect the National Anthem," St. Peter told WCCO. "It's because he's doing everything he can to get ready for that day's game."
Is it a sign of disrespect if players don't come out and stand on the line for the national anthem?
Sporting News columnist Jesse Spector notes that whatever the reason, players have a right to express themselves. So whether it's because they are taking extra cuts in the cage or protesting American military action around the world, Spector says, the choice is up to the players.