Bill to Require National Anthem at Games Heads to Governor

Members of the Denver Nuggets, front, join the New Orleans Pelicans in standing for the playing of the National Anthem before the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana should require athletic events held in a taxpayer-financed venue to start with the playing of the national anthem, lawmakers have agreed.

A 34-1 vote of the Senate on Tuesday sent the measure to the governor’s desk for consideration. The House earlier had voted 74-11 for the proposal.

Senate Republican leader Sharon Hewitt, of Slidell, said she offered the bill to honor Louisiana’s veterans. Opponents have questioned the logistics of the requirement, which would take effect Aug. 1, and suggested the proposal was unnecessary.

The bill is largely symbolic, however, because it carries no penalties if a game is held without the anthem.

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