MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The national anthem should be played before all sporting events held in the sites of Wisconsin who received public funding from the Green Bay Packers games at Lambeau Field in Beer League softball games in local parks, under a bill introduced Thursday by a Republican lawmaker.
State Senator Patrick Testin’s sweeping proposal of Stevens Point comes after the Dallas Mavericks failed to play “The Star-Spangled Banner” before home. games earlier this season. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban agreed to play the national anthem after the NBA reiterated its policy of requiring the song.
“Hearing the ‘star-spangled banner’ at a sporting event reminds us that despite our differences, we have something in common – we are Americans,” Testin said in a statement announcing his bill. “This tradition dates back over a century – even before the song was adopted as the national anthem. It is a practice that unites us and I think it is worth preserving.
The bill simply says that “no sporting event may be organized in a venue the construction of which has been financed at least in part by funds provided by a state agency or local government unit, unless the event is not preceded by the playing or singing of the hymn. “
“Sporting event” is not defined, which begs the question of whether the anthem should be sung every time someone meets for a pickup game football at city park or play softball game on municipal land.
Testin did not immediately respond to a message seeking clarification.
Regardless of the scope, there is no penalty for violating the requirement, so even if the Bar League softball team skipped the national anthem, there would be no repercussions under the law.
Testin said veterans groups, the Wisconsin American Legion and the Wisconsin VFW Department, support the measure, which is expected to pass the GOP-controlled legislature and be signed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers before it becomes law.
The Evers spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the measure.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said requiring the national anthem in all places in Texas that receive public funding will be among his top legislative priorities this session.
The pre-game national anthem is a staple of American sports at the professional and college level, but it is much less common at professional sporting events in other countries. The protests by athletes against social and racial injustice during the “Stars and Stripes” became a flashpoint between then-President Donald Trump and various leagues under his administration.
- According to the source Republican wants to require national anthem in Wisconsin.
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