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Track Athletes disrespectful to the flag?

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I was watching the Olympic track events and I found it to be disrespectful the way athletes drape themselves in the American flag. I saw athletes wiping sweat off their faces with flag, crying into the flag, crumpling it into a ball and even placing it on the ground. I'm thinking that if the athletes want to hold the flag they should put the flag on a pole as they run the track and treat it with some respect.

Usa400_sm_42915_medium

via images.tsn.ca

What are your thoughts?