Around the country today, a rapid and turbulent change is taking place. The youth of this nation are exerting their authority, which is derived only from their enthusiasm and the realization that they will inevitably be in charge someday anyway. Might as well let them get a head start.
But there are moments and maneuvers that make the older crowd cringe, as is always the case in these inter-generational conundrums. This has been especially true when it comes to the National Anthem, and the protests against it.
The youth isn’t as attached to the anthem as the older Americans are, and, as such, there is some fierce conflict as to how much respect to give it.
In Tulsa, the young people seem to have won…at least when it comes to a semi-pro soccer team’s use of The Star Spangled Banner.
Tulsa Athletic, of the National Premier Soccer League, announced Wednesday that in order to create a more inclusive environment it will change the song. The team said it decided on making the change after reviewing the lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
“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. 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 team said in a press release.
Tulsa Athletic co-owner Sonny Dalesandro also commented on the change.
“From our beginning, we have developed a culture of inclusion and acceptance at Tulsa Athletic,” he said in the press release. “We live in a country that allows us to freely speak our voice. We utilize this right as a club to continually try and improve our team and community. We believe ‘This Land Is Your Land’ not only captures a powerful patriotic sentiment, but that it does so in a far more inclusive way. The song speaks to this country being built and shared by every person of every race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. It represents a future Tulsa Athletic is committed to striving for.”
The move is sure to draw criticism, as are so many decisions that have been occurring in the USA as of late.