As protestors raise awareness around their objections to the national anthem, many sports organizations are choosing to opt-out of playing it at their pregame ceremonies. Not only have professional sports leagues decided to play the unofficial African American national anthem instead of The Star-Spangled Banner to get games started, but some coaches are also encouraging players to take a knee to protest police brutality and racial inequality across the United States of America.
However, players with the Granbury, Texas high school football team were outraged when they heard that the national anthem was going to be skipped in their pregame ceremony. Because the Granbury Pirates hated the idea of not respecting the flag and America before hitting the field to clobber their opponents, the team decided to defy the decision by rising to their feet and loudly singing the national anthem a cappella style like a high school glee club.
Despite being out of tune and missing a few lyrics to the anthem, all the players on the Granbury Pirates were eager to show their love for America. Since the high school band was unable to make it to the game on time to perform the national anthem for the crowd, the team figured it was up to them to prove to the fans that they were American enough to represent the Texas town. And they sure did put on a show worthy of a viral moment.
The reason the national anthem was not played for the Granbury Pirates game was not because of civil unrest or because of the protests many sports teams have been showing to raise awareness around police brutality and the killings of unarmed Black men across the country. It had to do with the weather.
Since the weather in that part of Texas was furious and destructive, the band was unable to do their duty and get out on the field to play the anthem. The game was canceled and rescheduled for the following day. However, neither the band from the Granbury Pirates or the Crowley Eagles could make it out to the field in time to perform the national anthem. That’s why the players decided it was up to them to represent their team and sing their praise of America.
Footage shows the players on the Granbury Pirates, who were predominantly white, inharmoniously shouted the lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner with their helmets removed from their heads, and their hands crossed over their hearts. No player was seen kneeling, although a few coaches were seen loitering around without showing adequate respect for the anthem.
Although the national anthem has been exposed for its racist lyrics in the third verse, the Granbury Pirates were proud to sing it at the top of their lungs and replace their school band for the day. While it is uncertain if they won the game, it does seem they had enough pride in America to carry them to victory. While the Pirates were singing, it can be assumed that their opponents either applauded the effort or took a knee to protest police brutality. Wouldn’t that have made for an interesting football game?