NewsCovering Louisiana


National Anthem now required at some sports events

American Flags at cemetery
Posted at 10:00 AM, Jun 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 12:03:23-04

A bill signed into law by Gov. John Bel Edwards requires the national anthem be played or sung at some athletic events.

The law requires that the song be played or sung at any "competitive athletic event" that is held in a facility for which any public funds were used to build, operate or maintain it.

There is nothing in the bill that states how it will be enforced, or by whom; nor does it provide any information regarding penalties for violation of the law. During session testimony about the bill, the chief author, Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, said there are no penalties, no consequences for violations.

Hewitt said no one who sees the law violated should call the police or anything like that. She said the bill is a "gesture" to try to thank veterans and promote patriotism. She said there are a million ways the requirement can be accomplished, and she's not trying to tell anybody how they accomplish it.

"My interest was not over-engineering this or being overly proscriptive on how you do it," she said. "There are no penalties. I'm not trying to do that at all. I think people will want to do this for the veterans. There will be veterans in the audience."

To see that testimony, click here. The testimony on this bill begins at about 1 hour 6 minutes.

To read the different versions of the bill and the digest, click here.