A semi-professional soccer team will no longer play the US national anthem. USA Before games and will replace it with Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land”.
Tulsa Athletic, of the National Premier Football League, announced Wednesday that to create a more inclusive environment, it will change the song. The team said they decided to make the change after reviewing the lyrics for “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
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“After carefully reviewing the lyrics and meaning of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’, including the third verse that mentions’ No refuge could save the wage earner and the slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave … Tulsa Athletic came to the decision that the song does not align with the core values of the club. 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, ”the team said in a press release.
Tulsa Athletic co-owner Sonny Dalesandro also commented on the change.
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“Since our inception, we have developed a culture of inclusion and acceptance at Tulsa Athletic,” he said in the press release. “We live in a country that allows us to freely speak our voices. We use this right as a club to continually try to improve our team and community. We believe that ‘This land is your land’ not only captures a powerful patriotic sentiment, but it does so in a much more inclusive way. The song talks about this country 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 club encouraged fans to sing the song “if they feel comfortable.”
Tulsa Athletic has six home games this season.
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The NPSL was founded in 2003 and contains several teams in the United States. Tulsa Athletic plays at the Heartland Conference.