Wisconsin Assembly votes to require national anthem at sporting events in publicly funded venues

Assembly lawmakers on Tuesday passed a bill that would require the national anthem to be played before all sporting events at Wisconsin venues and arenas that receive taxpayer dollars.   

Under the proposal from Rep. Tony Kurtz, no sporting event may be held in a venue constructed at least in part with public money unless the event is preceded by the playing or singing of the national anthem.

“We are a very dysfunctional family at times that’s for sure — but we are a family,” Kurtz said on the floor Tuesday. “And what concerns me, once again to my core, is we are ripping ourselves apart internally in this country.”

Kurtz, a military veteran, said requiring the anthem to be played more often would remind Wisconsinites that despite deep political differences, all are part of one 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. 

The bill passed on a bipartisan 74-22 vote with only Democrats opposed. 

“As much as I respect our flag, as much as I believe in this country, as much as I believe in our…

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