Florida Dem mocks new patriotic bill for pro sports: ‘Who doesn’t play the national anthem now?’

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Florida lawmakers are confused as to why the head of the state’s Republican Party proposed a bill that requires The Star-Spangled Banner to be played before all professional sports games.

Sen. Joe Gruters had introduced the bill on Tuesday, and it didn’t go over very well with his peers.

“This bill requires that the national anthem be played before games at professional sporting events at taxpayer-funded venues, in writing,” Gruters explained. “A failure to meet this contractual obligation constitutes a fault of the agreement, and may subject the team to a prohibition on future contracts and fines paid directly to the state. Failure to comply would allow the attorney general to intervene and enforce the provision.”

But his peers argued that this is a solution in search of a problem. Between chuckles, Florida Senator Vic Torres, D – Kissimmee, asked “Who doesn’t play the national anthem now??

Watch:

Admitting that he didn’t know of any specific instances in the state of Florida, Gruters said the bill is essentially a preventative measure.

“I don’t know that there are any known instances in Florida, this is just to make sure as a proactive approach that people continue to play it,” he said.

Despite the seemingly unique nature of the legislation, Texas passed a very similar law last year in response to Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire Mark Cuban deciding that he would prefer to not play the national anthem at the beginning of several games, citing COVID concerns at the time.

While the Florida bill would require teams to play The Star-Spangled Banner or face a penalty, it would not prevent teams from being able to protest during the song.

Perhaps this is a response to a recent comment from comedian Jon Stewart, who called the national anthem a “weird ritual” where he effectively trashed the tradition of standing for and respecting the playing of the country’s anthem.

“Does anyone know when that started, playing the national anthem before games? It’s such a weird ritual.”

“I’ve always thought about when Kaepernick took the knee and the whole thing was like, ‘you gotta stand for the anthem!’… but, like, why is that?” he mused. “When the anthem comes, you only have to stand if you’re there, but the transitive principle through the television – if it’s through the television you can do whatever the f**k you want. If you’re at a stadium there is a whole regimen you have to go through.”

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