Soccer coach: Anthem isn't appropriate at every game

And I tend to agree, and have said so for years. European nations only play the anthems when national teams play other national teams, such as England vs. Germany in soccer. They didn’t play it at Manchester City vs. Arsenal on Wednesday, or any of the other 379 Premier League games this season. Playing the national anthem before every game (there are 2430 MLB games and 256 NFL games in a normal season, for instance) really cheapens the anthem as a symbol IMO, and that’s at the pro level, never mind before junior high football games. Some people really think the last two words of the lyrics of the SSB are “Play Ball!”

It also solves the kneeling issue for those who remain offended by that. No anthem, no opportunity to kneel and “disrespect the flag”.


I agree Swine. Playing the Anthem a million times a year means little.

I remember the first time I saw live Olympics and felt good when they played our Anthem when our guys won a gold medal. But for church league softball, it is not necessary

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The football games at UA have always had the anthem played before the teams came out of the dressing room, so there’s no opportunity to kneel then. For many years, up until maybe the last ten, the basketball games also had the anthem played before the teams came out. In order to avoid bruised feelings both ways, they could go back to that. It was always very dramatic the way the did the pregame in basketball: the lights were turned out, and a single spotlight was placed on a woman who always sang the alma mater, then the anthem was played with 2 trumpet players on the court, one on each foul line facing each other. They took turns playing the early part of the anthem, then the rest of the band joined about half way through. After that, with the lights still off, the spotlight was placed on the cheerleaders for a hog call. After all of that, the team came out as the band had started playing the old NFL Today theme.

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I never understood why we played the national anthem before every sporting event. I’d prefer we play it at things like 4th of July parades, inaugurations of Presidents & governors, things like that. Yeah, play it at the Olympics or international competitions, but I’ve never been too crazy about forced patriotism (or forced religion or forced much of anything else.) Play the alma mater & the fight songs. Maybe the occasional halftime show if the theme is patriotic music.

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I would just as soon that they played some Sousa (Stars and Stripes Forever, Washington Post March, Semper Fidelis, The Marine Corps Hymn, etc.) when they do a patriotic theme. But then I love Sousa, his stuff works so well in a halftime program.

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I have said that now for years. It just doesn’t make sense to play the anthem at domestic events when an American team is playing another American team. It is a waste of time and devalues the anthem by playing it so often.

I don’t know if any other country that does this. Canada? Did this start with 9/11? I can’t remember.

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Started with World War I.

Like others in this thread, I’ve too felt that our national anthem gets de-valued by being played before every sporting event.

Having said that, the moment we stop, the protests will start: that we’re turning our backs on our national pride … and our country is just going hell … a direct result of those idiot (fill in the blank with whatever group of folks you disagree with).

And from a professional musician’s standpoint, in the PERFORMANCES of the national anthem the dignity of the piece is all-too-often sacrificed for sexiness, or some sort of pop-vocal showcase for the performer. I would MUCH prefer to have an instrumental background that allowed the people in attendance to actually SING…rather than simply listen.


Agree 100%, Hogmaestro. Some are painful to listen to. Seem to want to set a record for longest interpretation and/or how many notes to squeeze in.


I would rather it not be played, but if they are going to, I love to see how the singer personalizes the anthem. Otherwise it is same old same old, Know the words and know what is coming next. The only suspense is if the singer messes up.

Yep. And we were only in WWI for 18 months.

How about this? the anthem and stand up. People who kneel at our National Anthem are going to cause blowback, just like when Kaepernick started this stuff. If there are NFL players or MLB players or NBA players kneeling, you are going to see a lot of people boycott the games to protest the kneeling.

To eliminate your national anthem because some people are protesting some things they don’t like is not smart. Continue to play the anthem.

Let’s be clear here. Bruce Arena is not suggesting we stop playing the anthem because of protests. Neither am I. Getting around protests is just a side effect.

By the way, English soccer players are kneeling before their matches in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, so a protest is possible even without an anthem. But if they kneel with no anthem, you can’t erroneously characterize it as disrespecting the flag.

I fear in the last 40 years or more, American’s have stopped sitting down and having a senseable intelligent discussion and working things out, instead we have entered a “I am right and you are wrong” mentality which may some day end our United part.


Swine that is a great statement! I would, however, remove the word “erroneously”. That totally solves the problem I have with their kneeling. I’ve always hated their disrespecting the flag, which, as a vet, to me, means they are disrespecting the military. They can say they are not, but to most vets, yes they are.

I also like the idea of playing a “national” themed song in place of the anthem, and do not bring the flag out as a part of it.

After reading this thread I moved on but after a few minutes I was compelled to come back and offer my thoughts. I enjoy the anthem. Perhaps being an immigrant gives me a different perspective. Most immigrants(and I’ve had several conversations with many over the years) We are struck by how so many Americans can take their country for granted .I have a deep love for this country and yes it does have it’s share of problems but our constitution gives us the ability to keep fine tuning them.
My mother was born in 1930 and was the oldest of 8 brothers and sisters as a refugee during WW2. The stories she would tell were horriffic but let me share a “benign” one. Everyone that learns to ride a bicycle is a little shaky at first and sometimes loses control and falls over. Well imagine falling over smack into a Nazi panzer tank. There would not only be one but a whole street lined with them…Now imagine walking outside of your home and seeing that on your street.
My mother married my adoptive father, a sargent served in the third army and was wounded in Europe and Korea. We came over on a boat in 1958 and headed to Ft. hood Texas where 3 months after arriving he was killed in a car wreck…Her family was very poor but offered to scrape some money together for passage back to Italy. It was me, her , my one year old sister and pregnant with my other sister. Times were desperate for a mother of three but she refused the offer because she knew America would offer hope for a better life. We spent about 30 days on my fathers sisters tiny dirt farm just outside marks Mississippi .After coming from the foothills of the Italian alps and the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Marks,Miss was very depressing. She got a job across the river in Helena at Bobbie Brooks(make no mistake it was a flat out sweat shop). With help we were able to get a shotgun house on the levee.I was the only white kid in the neighborhood and it did not go well at all. Sacred Heart Academy was about a mile from my house. In the mornings all the kids were sleepy and the walk was fine. in the afternoons it was a gauntlet going home. I won’t get into it but it was not pleasant at all. I would play with the kids my age but the 8-12 year olds could be pretty brutal. One day I complained to momma and she sat me down and told me you can’t blame everyone because a few that mistreat you. To this day I have a compassion for people who are mistreated. For 16 years I would have to go to the post office and register with Naturalization until i got my citizenship while serving in the Marine Corps. Please, Never take your country for granted. It is special. When you hear the Anthem be proud of what your country CAN be, what it offers and how fortunate we ALL are to live here. God bless her and keep her safe because so goes America so goes the world. Everyone take care…


Should it be played at College Football Games? I don’t know, but it does not cheapen it at least for me. I cannot hear it without getting tears in my eyes. Simple as that. I think it is best done at the NFR. the flag is brought out on horseback. Everyone, and I mean everyone, stands and it is sung very respectfully. Likewise for the Maple Leaf on Canada night (Canada is included in the PRCA). I would never want that part of the performance taken away.

I love the post right above this one. Never, ever take the USA for granted. It is not perfect, but it is by far the greatest source of hope and good in the world today.

Coming back to a college game and the flag - I don’t know, but I like it. Protest all you want, but for me at least, do it some place and time other than that.

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Outstanding post. America is not perfect, but there is no other country in the world I’d rather live in.

I’ve attended (and participated in) rodeo’s in big coliseums and small arenas. Every rodeo I’ve had the privilege to be around honored our country and flag in the pre rodeo festivities. And the National Anthem was performed in each with all participants and spectators standing respectively. It’s part of Rodeo Cowboy/Cowgirl DNA.

Should football, basketball and other sports play the National Anthem prior to games? I can’t answer that question. But it seems to me that if people can’t be respectful during the anthem it’s best not played.