It is not a political statement. It is not a protest. He said it is not intended as a slap on patriotism, or the ongoing war but Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy has long been absent from the Rose Garden Arena floor during the national anthem.For two seasons now, Roy leaves the court before “The Star Spangled Banner” is performed. He waits out of sight, in the arena tunnel, and has a quiet moment of prayer while his teammates stand and honor America together.Something about that feels troubling.
I never served in the military, though I am the son of United States Navy sailor. My father-in-law is a former marine, my brother-in-law is currently flying large airplanes over Germany and hopefully smuggling back Rieslings for me. So I can’t vouch for what it means to them to have people stand at attention. I have a pretty good idea, but I can’t say for sure.
This isn’t to say I have an issue with Brandon Roy. He’s not lazy, he’s reflecting in something personal. I always think about if it gets annoying for the players, standing every other day for the National Anthem. You can focus on the sacrifices made in this country’s honor probably most of the time, but isn’t your mind going to slip to what you need at the grocery store, or paying that bill, or you know, how the hell you’re going to guard Kobe Bryant?
Roy isn’t blanking, he’s taking a personal moment to reflect, integrating that into his schedule at an appropriate time. To do that night in and night out when it would be easier to stand on the floor and daze out as I’m sure some players are would be easier than what he does. So I’m not upset with Brandon Roy. I admire him.
And frankly, it’s none of our damn business.