By Tulsa Athletic
Tulsa Athletic, an American soccer team based in Tulsa and part of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), announces the club will no longer play the “The Star-Spangled Banner” and will play a new song of patriotism, “This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie, at all home matches.
Tulsa Athletic’s mission is to create an inclusive community through the game of soccer. After carefully reviewing “The Star-Spangled Banner” lyrics and meaning, including the third verse which mentions “No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave…,” Tulsa Athletic came to the decision that the song does not align with the club’s core values. While this verse is rarely sung, Tulsa Athletic does not believe “The Star-Spangled Banner” represents or unites their diverse players, fans and community.
“From our beginning, we have developed a culture of inclusion and acceptance at Tulsa Athletic,” said Sonny Dalesandro, co-owner of Tulsa Athletic. “We live in a country that allows us to freely speak our voice. We utilize this right as a club to continually try and improve our team and community. We believe ‘This Land Is Your Land’ not only captures a powerful patriotic sentiment, but that it does so in a far more inclusive way. The song speaks to this country being built and shared by every person of every race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. It represents a future Tulsa Athletic is committed to striving for.”
During Tulsa Athletic’s song of patriotism, players and fans can sing along if they are comfortable. As always, all forms of patriotic expression are welcomed and respected at Tulsa Athletic’s matches.
Tulsa Athletic is looking forward to kicking-off this new tradition with a special Equality Cup against Minneapolis City at Veterans Park in Tulsa.
To celebrate the unique diversity and talent in this country, Tulsa Athletic welcomes the community to share suggestions for artists to sing “This Land Is Your Land” at one of the of the six home matches in the upcoming season. You can submit your suggestions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Hannah Jackson/Schnake Turnbo Frank