Does the national anthem have to be played before <i>every</i> sporting event?

Fans during the national anthem at Dodger Stadium.
(Jabin Botsford / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The U.S. national anthem’s overuse has diminished its sanctity. However meaningful, play it to a surfeit like any other tune, and the glow subsides. (“Oh, say, can you be quiet during the national anthem?” July 3)

In an effort to instill and then maintain patriotic fervor, the notes are rained upon us so repetitively that to many listeners, hearing the song has become a chore, a duty rather than a moving moment of remembrance of the sacrifice required to proclaim this land a free and independent nation.

It’s one thing to play it in sports events when the contest involves another country, but every single game in every single sport down to the minor leagues? To what insignificance are we to stoop and still require the recital of the nation’s hymn?

Michael E. White, Burbank


To the editor: The singing and performing of the national anthem at sporting events is a simple reminder to all of us that we should be grateful to live in an amazing country. That honor should not only be observed in the seating area.


For many, their self-indulgent tasks of visiting the concession stand outweighs taking less than two minutes out of their day to stop what they are doing and pay their respects. It was hugely disappointing to learn that Dodger Stadium no longer requires workers to stop helping customers at the concession stands while the national anthem is performed.

Major League Baseball, team owners and fans alike should honor this great country by stopping what they are doing while the anthem is performed. Even if you do not believe in the symbolism of the gesture, be respectful of those who do.

Jim Drabos, La Mirada


To the editor: While the U.S. men’s soccer team made great strides to catch up to the rest of the world at the recent Copa America tournament, it was apparent we have a lot more work to do catching up on patriotism.

In one of the few true international team sports, the U.S. was regularly bested by other countries during the respective national anthems. Sure, we stood up, but we didn’t sing. Fans from every other country belted theirs out. The only person I saw singing the U.S. national anthem was our German coach.

Stadiums should start showing the words on the scoreboard to “coach” us along until we become competitive in this pregame event.

Rich Matzinger, San Clemente

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