The playing of the National Anthem at sporting events has become a hot-button issue over the past few years. In the wake of nationwide social justice protests and the Black Lives Matter movement, athletes across the country have taken to kneeling during the anthem as a form of protest against what they view as systemic racism. As a result, some sporting events have ceased playing the anthem altogether.
On Tuesday, Wisconsin State Assembly lawmakers passed a bill requiring the National Anthem to be played before all sporting events that take place at arenas and venues which receive taxpayer dollars. It will now head to the State Senate for a final vote.
The bill was proposed by Rep. Tony Kurtz, a military veteran, who said the playing of the anthem 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,” Kurtz said on Tuesday. “And what concerns me, once again to my core, is we are ripping ourselves apart internally in this country.”
“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.”
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