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I am getting very tired of politics being mixed in with sports.

Why can't we just keep politics out of sports? Are sports really the platform to make some kind of political statement? No, it is not the right platform.

A few days ago, the National Basketball Association had to reiterate its rule that every team must play the national anthem after the Dallas Mavericks, under the direction of owner Mark Cuban, stopped playing the anthem before games. The rule is part of the league policy.

"We hear the voices of those who do not feel the anthem represents them," Cuban said in part of a statement.

The anthem represents all of us. The lyrics come from a poem written by Francis Scott Key titled "Defense of Fort M'Henry".

The poem is celebrating a United States victory over Britain in a battle during the War of 1812. I believe we, as Americans, must focus on the literal meaning of the tune and come together. I hate to see the anthem driving us apart. It was never meant to drive us apart from one another.

Let us have our sports in which sports can be what they are in essence — fun and entertainment. Bringing up politics in sports turns me off.

I just want to enjoy the game and not have reminders of everything wrong with the country while I am being entertained. I want to relax, don't you?

My great uncle, Emil, died in World War II and his name is on a remembrance stone wall in front of the Miller County Courthouse. When I hear the anthem, I reflect upon his ultimate sacrifice in helping ensure that we each have basic freedom.

The anthem is all about celebrating a victory. When I hear it play, I like to also think about my personal victories in life. It's a hard life sometimes, but, when we can come out of it in the end as victors, it should be celebrated.

Professional athletes can take up their causes on their own time. There is nothing wrong with that at all. They can march, speak, protest peacefully and make special appearances to their content.

They can post on social media, do interviews and write articles for their causes. There is nothing wrong with that.

Please, let's keep sports about sports and not let politics pollute something that should be about fun and entertainment.

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