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Wisconsin bill would require sports teams to play national anthem before games

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche

With the national anthem debate still raging after years of divisiveness on the topic, it’s now about to take center stage around the sports world once again.

The Wisconsin State Assembly passed a proposal on Tuesday that would require sports teams who play at facilities funded by public money to play the national anthem before games. Said vote was passed by a bipartisan count of 74-22. The details are rather interesting, too.

“The requirement would apply at all levels of athletic events played on a field that ever received public money, from a bar league softball game at the local park to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field,” the Minnesota Star Tribune noted.

With that said, it’s mostly symbolic. Teams would not face a penalty if they opted against playing the national anthem. That includes the MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers, NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and NFL’s Green Bay Packers. Said vote did not come without some push back from legislators.

“I don’t want the national anthem to be disingenuous,” Democratic Rep. Don Vruwink. “I want people to think about the words and what is being said.”

Meanwhile, the GOP-sponsored bill drew rave reviews from state-level Republican leaders.

“Can you teach patriotism?” said Republican Rep. Janel Brandtjen. “Yes, by singing this song you can and you can have the conversations about how great this country is.”

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