A semi-professional soccer club is taking Bruce ArenaTip: change the national anthem before games for another song.
Premier National Soccer League team Tulsa Athletic announced Wednesday its decision to remove the “Star-Spangled Banner” from pre-game activities in home games … saying it will play “This land is your land“by Woody Guthrie instead.
Why? Here is the club statement …
“After carefully reviewing the lyrics and meaning of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’, including the third verse it mentions’No refuge could save the employee and the slave / From the terror of flight or the darkness of the grave … ‘Tulsa Athletic came to the decision that the song does not align with the club’s core values. “
“While this verse is rarely sung, Tulsa Athletic does not believe that ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ represents or unites its diverse players, fans, and community.”
“We believe ‘This Land Is Your Land’ not only captures powerful patriotic sentiment, but it does so in a much more inclusive way.”
Co-owner of Tulsa Athletic Sonny Dalesandro says TLIYL “speaks of this country being built and shared by all people of all races, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations. It represents a future that Tulsa Athletic is committed to fighting for.”
The team will kick off their new tradition during a special Equality Cup match against the city of Minneapolis at Veterans Park in Tulsa. No date has been set.
Of course, the news comes in the wake of the former coach of the US soccer team. USA Bruce Arena saying he plays the national anthem before games is “inappropriate”
“Think about it,” said Arena. “In Major League Soccer, the majority of the players who are on the field during the national anthem are international players. They are not even Americans.”