The sporting drumbeat for war

We examine the use of patriotism in the world of sport and how it can be used to promote war.

Media, Europe, Paris Attacks, US & Canada

Following the Paris attacks, the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, was sung throughout stadiums in Europe as football players and fans alike honoured those who died.

Through the spectacle of sport - a ritual of mourning was being observed. But for some, the performing of the national anthem sounded more like a call to arms.

"Hear the roar of those ferocious soldiers. They're coming to cut the throats of your sons, your women. To arms, citizens."

Meanwhile, earlier this month in the US, it was revealed that fans were actually paying for what they were seeing - that the Pentagon has spent millions of tax dollars to get teams to salute the military at games: marketing stunts dressed up as genuine displays of patriotism.

In times of conflict, when the mainstream news media already tend to pound the drums of war, having sports audiences repeatedly exposed to pro-military messaging tilts the playing field further still.

Talking us through the story are: Cenk Uygur, Host of The Young Turks; Murtaza Hussain, a journalist at The Intercept; Sandy Tolan, an associate professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; and James Montague, a journalist and author.

Source: Al Jazeera

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