Make the anthem mandatory at home games

January 18, 2022

‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ is played at the start of every professional sporting event in Florida, but that hasn’t stopped state lawmakers from pushing a plan that will tie the playing of the national anthem at sporting events to dollars states and locals.

The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee on Tuesday backed a proposal (SB 1298) that would require Florida professional sports teams to receive government money to play the national anthem before every home game.

This decision has left many scratching their heads as neither team plans to eliminate “The Star-Spangled Banner” from their pre-game routines.

Asked by Sen. Victor Torres, D-Kissimmee, if teams aren’t playing the anthem, bill sponsor Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, acknowledged he doesn’t know of any cases in Florida where “The Star -Spangled Banner” wasn’t played before games and other events.

“It’s just to make sure, in a proactive approach, that people keep playing it,” said Torres, who is also Florida Republican Party chairman.

The proposal mirrors a Texas law, dubbed the Star-Spangled Banner Protection Act, that went into effect in September.

The Florida measure would prohibit government agencies from entering into agreements with professional teams without written verification that the anthem would be played.

The requirement would also apply to NASCAR and IndyCar events held at venues with at least 75,000 permanent seats, as well as professional golf tournaments.

Failure to play the anthem could result in teams or venues having to repay any government money they received.

Voting against the bill, Sen. Bobby Powell, D-West Palm Beach, called the proposal an undue assault on private enterprise that appears to have little to do with the anthem.

“We strive to be a free state. It’s all about freedom. It’s all about limited government. However, you can choose when you limit government,” Powell said after the meeting. “In this case, I think it borders on government overreach. It’s the opposite of what I’ve heard. And we just have to be consistent in our message, especially if it’s being pushed by a political party in particular. coherent.”


The Miami Times is the largest black-owned newspaper in the South serving Miami’s black community since 1923. The award-winning weekly is often recognized as the nation’s best black newspaper by the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

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