Vin Scully, Dodgers broadcasting legend, is the latest to weigh in on the NFL and players kneeling during the national anthem. Scully was speaking at a Saturday event in Pasadena, and said he would never watch another NFL game.
“I have only one personal thought, really. And I am so disappointed. I used to love, during the fall and winter, to watch the NFL on Sunday. And it’s not that I’m some great patriot. I was in the Navy for a year. Didn’t go anywhere. Didn’t do anything. But I have overwhelming respect and admiration for anyone who puts on a uniform and goes to war. So the only thing I can do in my little way is not to preach. I will never watch another NFL game,” Scully said.
Scully covered the Dodgers since they were in Brooklyn until prior to last season, and was someone who covered Jackie Robinson throughout much of his career.
Here’s what Jackie Robinson wrote in his memoir:
“There I was the black grandson of a slave, the son of a black sharecropper, part of a historic occasion, a symbolic hero to my people. The air was sparkling. The sunlight was warm. The band struck up the national anthem. The flag billowed in the wind. It should have been a glorious moment for me as the stirring words of the national anthem poured from the stands. Perhaps it was, but then again perhaps the anthem could be called the theme song for a drama called The Noble Experiment. Today as I look back on that opening game of my first world series, I must tell you that it was Mr. Rickey’s drama and that I was only a principal actor. As I write this twenty years later, I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world. In 1972, in 1947, at my birth in 1919, I know that I never had it made.”
It’s fair to say that there are very different perspectives about why people are kneeling and what it means, and Scully’s opinion is not out of lockstep with many Americans, but does differ from the experience of another veteran who served this country, in Jackie Robinson.