National Anthem on the Chopping Block at Youth Sporting Events

flagIn Pennsylvania, nearly 200 high school hockey teams have been told that they are to cut the National Anthem from the program because it eats into time and time is money when rink time costs upwards of $300 an hour to rent. Um, the National Anthem only takes two minutes to sing, how much more could that really cost?

In other words, are you frickin' serious, people?


Ed Sam, commissioner of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League, stated: "We are recommending the national anthem not be played or sung or whatever it is.”

(Personally, I think the tone of Ed Sam sounds kind of flippant, but anyway ...)

To many Americans, the National Anthem is a big deal and we expect to hear it before any major sporting event, even at the youth level. The National Anthem is a long-standing tradition, and it is part of what makes the overall experience of our sporting events.

Sam referred to the cost of ice. Yes, it is extremely expensive per hour, but it doesn't take that long to sing the National Anthem. If you raise the price of tickets minimally by less than 5 cents, the time could easily be covered. And wouldn't that be worth it? Not to lose this time-honored tradition?

Americans are a very patriotic group and paying homage to the people who fight our wars and the country that we love is not something that should be taken away, especially not over a few measly cents. If this is a cost savings measure, it's not a very effective one.

Taking away the National Anthem from high school hockey matches is just the beginning. What’s next? Do we remove it from the Major League Baseball games? Maybe we take away hot dogs and peanuts too?

How do you feel about removing the National Anthem from the beginning of sporting events?

Image via LadyBugBkt/Flickr

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