The Wisconsin State Assembly passed a bill Tuesday that would require tax-supported venues to play the national anthem in the opening ceremony of sporting events.
“I strongly believe we need to play it, particularly where we’re at now in our country,” bill sponsor Rep. Tony Kurtz said, according to WISN Channel 12.
Kurtz hastened to point out that his bill only applies to venues supported by tax dollars, and he did not want to restrict private organizations such as softball leagues or local youth sports. “I didn’t want to narrow it down. The community can determine,” the Rep. said.
Still, the bill has no penalties or enforcement clause. “I don’t want to make it enforceable. I want people to voluntarily do that,” Kurtz said.
Krutz added that he proposed his bill in response to the decision by Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban not to play the national anthem before NBA games, a decision that the league itself countermanded.
“We just don’t want what happened with the Dallas Mavericks,” Kurtz exclaimed.
“We are a very dysfunctional family at times, that’s for sure — but we are a family,” Kurtz said. “And what concerns me, once again to my core, is we are ripping ourselves apart internally in this country.
“A part of me worries about that. When somebody says I’m not going to play the anthem — that does concern me. Because folks, whether you like it or not, we are one big family, and I want people to remember that,” he said.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.