When Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban ordered his NBA team to stop playing the national anthem, Wisconsin state Representative Tony Kurtz (R – Wonewoc) was inspired to draft a bill mandating the anthem at sports venues here.
“I do want awareness of the national anthem,” Kurtz said. “And when one individual, a billionaire can say “I don’t want to play it,” at his whim, that’s a problem.”
Although Cuban backed down under pressure from the league, Kurtz’s bill addresses the problem by requiring the anthem at any sports facility that’s received taxpayer support, although it carries no penalties for failing to do so.
The bill would requires playing the anthem prior to games at any facility that receives taxpayer funding, from Fiserv Forum to a middle school gym.
“I’m proud of our national anthem, I’m proud of our flag, I’m proud of our nation and I’m not afraid to say you need to play this,” Kurtz said.
The bill passed the Assembly on a bipartisan vote Tuesday, although some Democrats call it a political stunt. It now goes to the Senate.