On Tuesday, the Wisconsin State Assembly passed a bill requiring the playing of the National Anthem during the start of all sporting events. This covers all areas and venues in the state that receive taxpayer dollars in subsidies. With the passage in the Assembly, the bill now heads to the Wisconsin Senate for voting.
The National Anthem Is a National Issue
The playing of the National Anthem during sporting events became controversial during the last few years. Protesting against what they see as systemic racism, many athletes saw the chance to show their stand during the playing of the National Anthem. As a result, many started kneeling whenever “The Star-Spangled Banner ” played. In addition, some athletes stayed in the locker during the segment and only emerged only after.
With the rise of woke citizens who protest everything from the Black Lives Matter movement and other social justice trends, some venues and professional teams decided to cut playing the National Anthem.
‘Part Of One Country’
Representative Tony Kurtz, a military veteran, and Republican-authored the bill supporting the National Anthem. Kurtz hopes that if passed into law, his bill will remind Wisconsin residents that they are all part of one country. “We are a very dysfunctional family at times that’s for sure. But we are a family. And what concerns me, once again to my core, is we are ripping ourselves apart internally in this country,” Kurtz said.
“A part of me worries about that. When somebody says I’m not going to play the anthem, that does concern me. Because folks, whether you like it or not we are one big family and I want people to remember that,” he added. Kurtz got the idea for the bill after a National Basketball Association team owner made a fateful decision. Back then, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban decided that his team’s home games will stop playing the National Anthem.
Democrats Oppose The Bill
Expectedly, Democrats comprised the group that opposed Kurtz’s bill, which passed 74-22. Democrat Representative David Bowen said that the bill “gets in the way of folks being able to use their right to protest.”
Representative Lisa Subeck, also a Democrat, voted against the bill as well. “As much as I respect our flag, as much as I believe in this country, as much as I believe in our freedom, I’m not sure it makes sense to mandate that it be played,” she explained.
Youth Sports and Rec Leagues
In addition to professional sporting events, Kurtz also wants the bill to apply to youth sports and rec league softball games. However, Kurtz acknowledged the bill is symbolic. It is also unenforceable. Kurtz doesn’t mind though. “I want people to voluntarily do that,” he said.
Do you support the playing of the National Anthem before the start of sports events? Why do you think some people find something wrong with this tradition? Let us know what you think about sports and the National Anthem. Share your comments below.