The symbols and rituals that traditionally united Americans have been under attack from the left. However, one state has decided to do something about it.
Legislators in Texas have passed a law requiring professional sports teams to play the national anthem before their games, Fox News reported. The “Star Spangled Banner Protection Act” would strip teams of local and state subsidies if they fail to comply with the new agreement.
The GOP-back legislation already passed the state Senate last month. The Texas House of Representatives passed the measure Tuesday in a landslide 110-34 vote. The bill will then go to the state’s Republican Gov. Greg Abbott who is expected to sign it into law.
“Texans are tired of sports teams that pander, insulting our national anthem and the men and women who died fighting for our flag,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement last month. “The passage of SB 4 will ensure Texans can count on hearing the Star Spangled Banner at major sports events throughout the state that are played in venues that taxpayers support. We must always remember that America is the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Democrats objected to the measure, of course, citing free speech considerations. “Once again, we’re carrying legislation that is openly and aggressively unconstitutional,” State Rep. Gene Wu said.
What prompted this legislation was a decision by Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban to stop playing the national anthem before the start of their basketball game. “In listening to the community, there were quite a few people who voiced their concerns, really their fears that the national anthem did not fully represent them, that their voices were not being heard,” Cuban said in February.
The NBA ultimately compelled Cuban to follow league rules that required the anthem before home games, but it was the catalyst for Texas to deal with a situation many are unhappy with across professional sports. Beginning with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick protesting the anthem, anti-American sentiment soon because a cause celebre for the leftist sports establishment.
Americans don’t want to have their country and their national symbols attacked, and Texas has taken up this seemingly minor issue with new legislation. It may be a First Amendment conflict, but at least the legislature is doing something about the growing divisiveness that has poisoned just about every institution in the nation.