Bill In Wisconsin Legislature Aims To Require National Anthem Before Athletic Events
A bill working its way through the Wisconsin State Legislature aims to require the singing or the playing of the National Anthem before virtually all sporting events in the state.
The bill was introduced by a group of 21 Republican representatives in the Assembly and co-sponsored by 7 Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate in March that would make it a requirement for the National Anthem to be a part of pre-game activities at all sporting events being held at venues in the state of Wisconsin that have received public funding.
The requirement would include all levels of sporting events, anywhere from a bar league game at a local municipal facility or park, to school sports, up to Wisconsin's professional teams.
An Associated Press piece (via madison.com) explains that there is no clear definition in the bill of what precisely defines a "sporting event", leaving it somewhat ambiguous as to whether or not a group of friends gathering at a park to play a game of softball or a pickup basketball game is under the requirement. That said, there is no defined penalty laid out in the proposed legislation if the National Anthem is not performed in some capacity.
In the aforementioned AP piece, they report the Wisconsin Parks and Recreation Association supported the idea of the bill, but "questioned the need for it and how it would be implemented".
While some opponents of the bill called it a "political stunt that was unworkable", the measure gained bi-partisan support in committee, and it passed in the Wisconsin State Assembly on a 74-22 bi-partisan vote on Tuesday of this week.
Before it would become law, it still needs to pass through the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Senate and get signed by Governor Evers.