Self-described rabble rouser Meghan McCain treats American basketball star — and former Russian prisoner — Brittney Griner with big respect, but McCain also uses Griner’s change of heart to describe a feeling about American freedom she wishes everyone would possess.
Griner, who returned to play for the Phoenix Mercury with a huge crowd (including VP Kamala Harris) there to cheer her on, stood for the national anthem before the game — a change in the hoop star’s routine that McCain applauds.
Prior to being detained in Russia, Griner customarily stayed off the floor as the “Star-Spangled Banner” played.
New @DailyMail column: https://t.co/uDEGz5gTRx— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) May 22, 2023
But rather than excoriate Griner for being late to learn the value of her freedoms, McCain is uncommonly gentle in her reproach, showing Griner a measure of respect for her about-face, while also complimenting the tenor of her original protest. That’s because, as McCain describes it, Griner expressed her opinion reasonably and without malice.
McCain writes about the Griner who used to skip the anthem:
To be fair, Griner was more balanced in her public remarks than most. She noted that she did not mean, ‘any disrespect to our country,’ and insisted that she does, ‘have pride for my country.’Meghan McCain
But Griner’s change of heart is the moment McCain really wants to emphasize, and she quotes the star talking to ESPN about standing now for the anthem. Griner:
“Just being able to hear my national anthem, see my flag, I definitely want to stand. Now everybody that will not stand or not come out, I totally support them 100 percent. That’s our right, as an American in this great country.”
McCain says that’s the whole point of freedom, to express it as one wishes. “It is a true privilege to live in a country with guaranteed freedoms, and as Brittney learned, it is rare,” McCain writes. “Griner reflected on all of this and how lucky she is to live in a country that values human life.”
McCain later writes that “Sadly, many of her National Anthem protesting teammates are still stuck in the locker room.”
Maybe that’s not so sad, by virtue of McCain’s own argument. Not agreeing with Griner and McCain on what the anthem symbolizes is an option inherent in their freedom to think and express, which is what — for McCain — the flag and anthem mean. If these things mean something else to Colin Kaepernick, that hardly excludes him from being considered a patriotic American — at least according to McCain’s definition.
McCain’s gentleness with Griner surprised some, since she so often uses a blade for a pen when she wants to eviscerate. But the former TV persona also finds herself in a limbo-like place that may encourage contemplation and consideration before the skewer.
A lifelong Republican — to the manor born, as it were — McCain doesn’t much care for Democrats and their policies, but the MAGA wing has walked away with her GOP, so she stands lonesome in the shadow of her late OG Republican father Senator John McCain, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Mitt Romney as everyone else careers right.
Indeed, McCain, a Republican blue blood, may have more in common these days with Britney Griner than she does with Marjorie Taylor Greene.