[Playing the US National Anthem at sporting events] really is one one those things that scholars call invented tradition. Sports is kind of bloodless warfare. These are our gladiators. Back in the day during World War II, it wasn’t just sporting events, it was theater performances, movies, civic gatherings. Sometimes at restaurants, people would spontaneously burst out singing the Anthem.
– Marc Ferris, author of Star-Spangled Banner: The Unlikely Story of America’s National Anthem
I question why we’re playing the national anthem at sporting events in our country. I think it puts people in awkward positions. We don’t use the national anthem in movie theaters, on Broadway, other events in the United States. I don’t think it’s appropriate to have a national anthem before a baseball game, an MLS game.
– Bruce Arena, US pro soccer coach and member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame
Especially in the context of the proposed one-day events for 2021, opening and closing ceremonies (including the national anthem) are a drag on the overall FRC event schedule and should be minimized.
– Nate Laverdure