Why Is the National Anthem Played at Sporting Events?

why is the national anthem played at sporting events

As an American, you probably take it for granted that the national anthem will be played prior to every major sporting event in your country. But for non-Americans who aren’t as familiar with American sports culture, its patriotic spectacle might seem odd–particularly after NFL players began kneeling last year in protest of police violence and racial inequality. Additionally, President Trump recently threatened any players who failed to stand during the anthem which may prompt further consideration of this longstanding tradition.

Before considering whether an anthem should become required at sporting events, we must understand its history and connection to patriotism and nationalism. The first widespread use of the anthem occurred during World War I as a means of reinforcing patriotism and support for the war effort; its popularity subsequently flourished during and after World War II when sound systems allowed teams and stadiums to perform it without needing bands; the government even provided grants of millions of dollars each to NFL, NHL, MLS teams for performances of performances of performances of military appreciation nights as well as activities promoting patriotism!

The National Anthem has become a part of many sports venues’ pregame ritual, and is now mandated by most professional baseball, hockey, soccer, football and basketball leagues in North America. However, non-American events (such as international ones) don’t need to play it either and may opt out due to various reasons – both obvious and less so.

As one example in the US, many non-white Americans believe “The Star-Spangled Banner” no longer represents them or their history and instead shows racist and xenophobic nationalism. It should not feel obligatory for them to show their patriotism through this song they do not identify with.

No longer does the national anthem bring pride and unity among all Americans, not just white majority Americans, so its use before sporting events should cease being necessary. Unfortunately, however, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was met by mobs of angry fans when he decided not to play it before team games–an action which would benefit his city, NBA league, and nation as a whole.