EPSN sportswriter William Rhoden suggested Monday that he could not enjoy the Tokyo Olympics’ opening ceremonies because the American flag made him think about the “rise of white nationalism.”
“I love the opening ceremonies, march of countries. Then I realized, you know, man, particularly after these last four years, I had it wrong. Nationalism is not good,” Rhoden said during an interview on “CBS This Morning.”
“We’ve seen the rise of white nationalism. Nationalism is not good,” he said. “And also, this whole idea — I keep thinking back on the Capitol riots, and I saw a lot of, you know, U.S. flags,” he added.
“So now when I see the flag and the flag raised, I’m like, what — what America am I living in? You know, are the ones that don’t think, you know, we should be here?” he said.
Rhoden also said the nation’s rocky early start in the Olympics should be humbling.
“I think we should be humbled. You know, I mean, this whole last year in this country is about entitlement and privilege. And nobody epitomizes that more than basketball,” he said.
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) July 26, 2021
He further expressed his opinion that the Olympic Games should have been canceled due to the surge of COVID-19 cases.
The Olympics are instead being played without spectators and under strict protocols, giving the Olympics a much different look and feel than in the past.
Rhoden is not the first media figure to express negative views over the American flag. MSNBC contributor Mara Gay said during an interview last month that she was disturbed by “dozens of American flags” displayed by supporters of former President Donald Trump during a weekend trip to Long Island, New York.
Gay, also an editorial board member for The New York Times, said, “I was on Long Island this weekend visiting a really dear friend, and I was really disturbed. I saw, you know, dozens and dozens of pickup trucks with, you know, expletives against Joe Biden on the back of them, Trump flags, and some cases just dozens of American flags, which, you know, is also just disturbing.”
She added, “Essentially the message was clear. It was, ‘This is my country. This is not your country. I own this.'”
In another part of the interview, Gay addressed her concerns about the connection between Trump supporters, “Americanness” and whiteness.
“The reality is here that we have a large percentage of the American population — I don’t know how big it is, but we have tens of millions of Trump voters who continue to believe that their rights as citizens are under threat by simple virtue of having to share the democracy with others,” she said.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 8, 2021
“I think that as long as they see Americanness as the same as one with whiteness, this is going to continue,” Gay added.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.