Athlete Refuses to Stand During National Anthem

TitleAthlete Refuses to Stand During National Anthem
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsLadenson, R
Corporate Authorsof Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, IIT
Date Published02/1997
PublisherCenter for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, Illinois Institute of Technology
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsAthletics , personal ethics
AbstractLast year Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, point guard for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association was suspended without pay for refusing to stand during the playing of the National Anthem. The NBA Rulebook contains a provision which clearly requires players and coaches to stand along the sidelines while the National Anthem is played. Abdul-Rauf's suspension was imposed sixty games into the season even though he had declined to stand since the season began. On the day immediately before the league took its action, news reporters had asked Abdul-Rauf his reasons for not standing, and he said, at that time, that "the [American] flag is a symbol of oppression and tyranny This country has a long history of that, ... You can't be for God and for oppression," Abdul-Rauf is a devout follower of Islam. There is no specific rule of Islamic law that forbids a person from standing at attention while the National Anthem of the United States is played. The suspension remained in effect for two days, after which Abdul-Rauf agreed to stand, but said he would offer a prayer while the National Anthem is played. Was the suspension of Abdul-Rauf by the NBA morally justifiable? If so, why? If not, why not?
NotesCase from the March 6, 1997 Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. Copyright Robert Ladenson, Center for the Study of Ethics at the Illinois Institute of Technology, 1997.
URLhttp://ethics.iit.edu/EEL/National%20Anthem.pdf
Full Text

Discipline: 

Subject: 

Publication: