Tulsa Athletic soccer club won’t play National Anthem before home matches

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa Athletic, a local team in the National Premier Soccer League, announced Wednesday it will no longer play “The Star-Spangled Banner” before its home matches.

Instead, the team will play “This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie.

The club made the announcement outside the Woody Guthrie Center:

“After carefully reviewing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ lyrics and meaning, including the third verse which mentions ‘No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave…,’ Tulsa Athletic came to the decision that the song does not align with the club’s core values,” the club says.

“While this verse is rarely sung, Tulsa Athletic does not believe “The Star-Spangled Banner” represents or unites their diverse players, fans and community.”

The club says players and fans are welcome to sing along if they are comfortable and all forms of patriotic expression are respected at Tulsa Athletic matches.