I guess Melissa Jacobs of Sports Illustrated just can't help herself. She is so oblivious to the world around us that she buys into the notion that patriotism conflates with support for the military.
I understand that the world of professional sports (and college to a large degree) spews this trope by parading veterans and soldiers in front of crowds and by dressing athletes in camouflage gear and flag decorations. The message is quite clear - to be patriotic you must go all-in with the military.
I hate to break it to you, Ms. Jacobs, but that message is bullshit.
Patriotism has nothing to do with support for the military. In fact one could make the argument that not supporting the military in its current state is the most patriotic thing one could do. You see every military action since Harry Truman committed two of the worst war crimes in history has been unconstitutional.
The last declaration of war by Congress occurred in December 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. After that Congress just said fuck it and let the President do whatever the hell he wanted to do with the military.
In the meantime the United States military has become an occupying force in over 100 countries. The United States military has propped up some of the worst right-wing dictatorial governments in history. The United States military has murdered innocent men, women and children all over world - from the Korean peninsula to southeast Asia to the Middle East. Members of the United States military have been sent to advise right-wing forces around the world on how to unseat leftist governments who get in the way of money-hungry U.S. corporate interests.
Take a look at a map of U.S. military interventions since World War II and you will see a path of destruction with people of color as the target. Go to the library and do a little reading of Latin American history and see what good has come out of U.S. militarism.
The United States military is nothing more than the advance arm of American capitalism and it points its weapons at those who oppose the onrush of imperialism.
Besides, Ms. Jacobs, why would anyone support an institution that sends a nation's young people off to die for the benefit of corporate interests and an older generation that rejects peaceful coexistence? It's an incredibly stupid concept if one stops and thinks about it for a second.
But that's exactly why the NFL and other sports leagues glorify the military.
Take off the rose colored glasses, Ms. Jacobs, and wake up to the real world.