Hang Up and Listen

The Should Sports Teams Stop Playing the National Anthem? Edition

Slate’s sports podcast on the anthem, home-field advantage, and race and the NFL’s concussion settlement.


Episode Notes

Joel Anderson, Stefan Fatsis, and Josh Levin talk about the debate over whether to play the national anthem at sporting events. They also discuss what the pandemic taught us about the mysteries of home-field advantage. Finally, ESPN’s Ryan Smith joins to assess a lawsuit alleging that the NFL’s concussion settlement discriminates against Black players.

• Support Hang Up and Listen by subscribing to Slate Plus.

• Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban decided not to play the national anthem. No one noticed for 13 games.

Cuban said the Mavericks didn’t “cancel” the anthem, but NBA commissioner Adam Silver said all teams would be required to play the song.

In Defector, Ray Ratto wrote that Cuban “showed how much the anthem doesn’t matter, and did it without ever saying a word, which is hard for him.”

• Brittany Griner of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury said the anthem shouldn’t have been played during the 2020 season and a teammate said it shouldn’t be played at all at sporting events.

• In 2010, ESPN’s Luke Cyphers and Ethan Tex explored the history of the anthem in sports.

• Alex Kirshner’s Slate piece on what the pandemic has taught us about home-field advantage.

• FiveThirtyEight analyzed home-field advantage in 2018.

Home-field advantage isn’t what it used to be.

Follow Ryan Smith on Twitter.

• An ABC News report from Smith, Pete Madden, and Cho Park on claims that the NFL’s concussion settlement discriminates against Black players.

• Smith discussed that report on the ESPN Daily podcast.

• A 2020 piece on the website Stat: “Are lung function algorithms perpetuating health disparities experienced by Black people?”

Hang Up and Listen’s weekly Lisa Bunker:

Stefan’s Lisa Bunker: Playing the “Star-Spangled Banner” before sporting events has been a subject of debate for longer than you might think.

On this week’s bonus segment, Joel, Stefan, and Josh talk about Draymond Green’s claim that there’s a double standard in how we talk about players demanding trades vs. franchises trading players.

Podcast production and edit by Jasmine Ellis.

You can email us at hangup@slate.com.


About the Show

A weekly sports discussion show from Slate. Hang Up and Listen features Slate personalities Joel Anderson, Stefan Fatsis, and Josh Levin.

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