The notion that the national anthem is necessary to honor the U.S. during sporting events is redundant, argues Dan Wetzel of Yahoo News. When it starts playing in a stadium, most people are eating fast food, drinking soda, chatting away, going to the toilet, while many come already drunk. Some find it distasteful to play it before sporting events, taking away from its specialness. Few in the crowd can sing along anyway. After the first verse, crowds tend to get quieter. It wasn’t until 9/11 that this ritual was so embellished with 100-yard flags and players being required to stand, when they previously stayed in the locker rooms for it.
Playing the national anthem before sports games serves as a uniting factor for Americans, fostering a sense of unity and community, writes Kevin L. Burke of Sporting News. Over 90% of Americans, whether Republican or Democrat, want it to continue. Being a long-standing tradition in U.S. sports, it has become a part of American culture. It’s a way for people to show support for their country, police, firemen and armed forces. Enthusiasm for these heroes brings more people to the stadium. Ultimately, sports-related pride and patriotism are ways to spread compassion and fraternity among Americans, even if they support different teams.