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Bill Would Require Anthem Playing Before Games at Public Funded Facilities

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Stevens Point State Senator Patrick Testin says his Star Spangled Banner act, proposed this week in Madison, is not a means of "forced patriotism".

The bill would require that the national anthem be played before events or games held at all taxpayer-funded facilities, ranging from Fiserv Forum and Lambeau Field to your local parks and rec sports complex.

Testin said he wants to make sure that those who paid for the venue have the chance to honor our country if they want. 

“Taxpayers have funded these arenas.  They should have every opportunity to  honor our flag… to honor those men and women who have made so many sacrifices.” 

Testin says there's nothing in the bill that specifies how the procedures for the anthem should go, just that it should be played in some form.

“Nothing within this legislation mandates people have to participate in the anthem.  It doesn’t mandate any teams need to be on the court or on the sidelines.  All it does is allow those who want to honor our flag in facilities they have helped fund and pay for to do so.”

Testin says the bill would also require youth events at taxpayer-funded venues to comply.

“I know many of them do around the state already play the anthem.  I just want to make sure that opportunity is there.” 

Testin said he would love to see both the anthem and flag become signs of unity once again, like it was in the post-9-11 days. 

“Remembering that while we can have differences of opinion and different political beliefs, we are all on the same team as Americans.”

There would be no penalties for violators.