Should we play the national anthem before every sporting event in America? We all know the arguments for doing so. But the arguments against are increasing. Even before the protests, we often had sports (like hockey and soccer) where a majority of the players were from countries other than the US. And even the players from America often seemed bored and focused instead on the upcoming game.
Even now coaches and owners are considering what they might do if many of their players take a knee or refuse to come out of the locker room until the national anthem is finished. Do they ignore it? Do they fine the players?
In the midst of this discussion and debate has come another proposal to replace the “Star-Spangled Banner” with another song. Tulsa Athletic said they “have developed a culture of inclusion and acceptance.” Never mind that all Americans can feel inclusion and acceptance by participating in the national anthem.
They decided they will play Woody Guthrie’s song, “This Land is Your Land” at their home games. Perhaps they are unaware that Guthrie had been a vocal supporter of communism. Apparently, Guthrie was aggravated by the Irving Berlin song, “God Bless America,” especially when the rendition by Kate Smith played endlessly on the radio. He wrote “This Land is Your Land” as a critical response.
Journalist Kevin Powell has a different suggestion for sports teams. Replace the national anthem with John Lennon’s “Imagine.” After all, it dreams of a world with “no countries” and “no religion” and “nothing to kill or die for.” Once again, the communist theme shows up. Lennon himself described the lyrics as “virtually the Communist Manifesto.”