- The Washington Times - Monday, April 17, 2017

NBC Sports writer Craig Calcaterra complained on Monday that “the entire right wing media” came after him after he complained about the use of American flags at Major League Baseball games.

Mr. Calcaterra’s Twitter feed was inundated on Sunday with negative feedback after he lamented displays of patriotism at MLB games. Fans and media outlets like The Blaze wondered why teams should abstain from national anthem ceremonies that feature the flag.

“Will you keep politics out of sports, please. We like sports to be politics-free,” Mr. Calcaterra wrote Sunday.

Multiple readers asked how the American flag is political, to which the writer responded: “People often wrap themselves in the flag in order to achieve political ends. […] Maybe a flag, in and of itself isn’t always political. A two-acre flag with a military flyover is saying something very specific, however.”

The writer also posted a response on the NBC Sports page on Monday for critics and “some conservative people” who aren’t familiar with his work.

“Let us not pretend for one second that displays of conspicuous patriotism haven’t spiked dramatically in our country over the past 16 years,” the writer said. “Let us not pretend for one second that they persist for all of the same reasons that initially inspired them. Let us not pretend that, over more than a decade and a half of it, many have not learned how effective it is to leverage patriotism to aid their political careers, their images, or their marketability and the marketability of their brands.”

“I respect your opinions Craig,” wrote one reader. “But I think you are a total goof 95% of the time and use hardball talk as a platform to blog about your socialistic points of view. […] You disagree with people just for the sake of starting an argument quite often (and describe yourself openly as a contrarian) and then whine when people come back at you with a different opinion while trying to mock them with nonsensical sarcasm.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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