It would be illegal for some sports venues to skip the national anthem before games under a new bill proposed by a Republican legislator.
Stevens Point Republican Sen. Patrick Testin’s Star Spangled Banner Act, proposed Wednesday, would require the anthem to be played before all sporting events held in venues that have received taxpayer funding. That would include all home games for the Green Bay Packers, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Milwaukee Bucks, Testin said in a release.
Though the bill would make the anthem mandatory, it does not include penalties for organizations that skip it.
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. “It’s a practice that unites us, and I believe it’s worth preserving.”
I’ve always enjoyed the Star-Spangled Banner, but would never mandate its recital before fundamentally private events. The bill is constitutionally dubious and ethically flawed.
Unity is the consequence of a thousand private choices, not a single legislative one.