Wisconsin to vote on requiring national anthem for all sporting events


GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 28: The national anthem is sung prior to the NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field on September 28, 2015 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The national anthem would have to be played before all sporting events held at Wisconsin venues that received any public funding under a mostly symbolic bill passed by the state Assembly.

The Assembly passed the proposal on a bipartisan 74-22 vote Tuesday.

The measure now heads to the Senate. Democrats derided it as a political stunt that was unworkable.

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.

“Sporting event” is not defined, raising the question of whether the anthem would have to be sung every time someone gets together for a pickup game of football at the city park or plays a softball game on a municipal field.

There is no penalty for violating the requirement, so even if the bar league softball team skipped the national anthem, there would be no repercussion under the law.

The Wisconsin Parks and Recreation Association said it supported the intent of the bill, but questioned the need for it and how it would be implemented.

If approved by the Assembly, it would also have to pass the Senate and be signed by Gov. Tony Evers before becoming law.

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