Here in the United States, there is a tradition of playing the National Anthem (The Star Spangled Banner) at the beginning of sports events. This is especially true when the events are on television. However, I've never truly understood why this is done at all.
Now I do understand that citizens (for the most part) are proud of the USA and that they live here. I'm (mostly) proud of my country. I'm a veteran (USAF 1980-1984). I just don't see the reason for this at a sporting event. It's like mindless chest-beating for no good reason. To me it makes no sense to play the National Anthem before an event in which all participants are from the USA. I mean, I know that I live in the US.
I've never noticed God Save the Queen being played before a match at Wimbledon. I've not seen that happen before a Manchester United football (soccer) match either. Do they play Japan's National Anthem before Sumo matches? I don't know, but I did see that happen the one time I watched a TV broadcast at one.
I think events like the Olympics, Soccer World Cup, & Formula 1 Auto Racing have the better method. Have the participants come out to introductions, and save the National Anthem for afterwards, for the winners.
The only time we should hear the National Anthem at a sport event is for the winner of that event period...
...but then, that's my opinion. ;o)
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