Under a new bill proposed by Senator Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point), it would be illegal for some sports venues to skip the national anthem before games in Wisconsin.
The bill, labeled the Star Spangled Banner Act, would require the anthem to be played before all sporting events held in venues that receive taxpayer funding. That would include all home games for the Green Bay Packers, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Milwaukee Bucks.
While the bill would make the anthem mandatory, it does not include repercussions or penalties for organizations that skip it.
While it’s already customary for nearly all professional and amateur teams to play “The Star-Spangled Banner” ahead of games, the song has become a rallying cry for protesters fighting for racial and social justice in the community.
Beginning in 2016, then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began to kneel during the national anthem before NFL games as a protest against racial injustice. Since that time, the protest has grown and created partisan divisiveness, as Republicans commonly view the protest as a sign of disrespect to the flag and the U.S. military, despite the fact that Kaepernick worked in consult with a retired Army Green Beret to protest in a respectful way.
While it’s unclear if the bill will be passed, don’t forget to stand for Wisconsin’s unofficial theme song “Save Big Money at Menard’s.”