Playing the National Anthem at the start of sporting events has become a controversial subject in the past few years. Black Live Matter and other social justice protests have caused athletes all over the country to kneel during the anthem in protest against their perception of systemic racism. Following on that trend, some sport events have altogether abandoned playing the National Anthem.
However, Tuesday saw a new bill pass the house in Wisconsin that requires sporting events at taxpayer funded venues to play the National Anthem.
Military veteran and Representative Tony Kurtz proposed the legislation, saying that playing the national anthem reminds Wisconsin residents that they have unity with America.
Kurtz believes that America is a family, if “dysfunctional. . . at times.” He said that he is concerned about his country’s internal struggles, saying that “we are ripping ourselves apart.”
The bill was proposed shortly Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, made the decision to stop playing the National Anthem at his team’s home games.
The bill passed the house with a vote of 74-22 along party lines, with Democrats opposing the bill.
Democrats opposing the bill claim that it interferes with citizens right to protest and furthermore, find it unnecessary to mandate the anthem with the force of law.
Even Kurtz admitted that the bill was unenforceable and largely symbolic, saying that, “I want people to voluntarily do that.”
In response to kneeling protests at football games, the NFL decided on an official stance for the 2020 season that said all sports team members must stand for the anthem in the stadium, and those who refuse can wait in the lockers until the anthem has been played.
Author: Randy Boone