Not since Roseanne Barr horribly warbled her way through it has a singer tapped to belt out the National Anthem before a sporting event caused as much of a ruckus as country legend Travis Tritt.
Yet Tritt’s performance shows that the Cancel Culture mob sometimes can be trumped.
Tritt, a Donald Trump supporter, has criticized President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate on social media. He also has refused to perform at locales that require vaccine passports.
Still, the Atlanta Braves invited Tritt, a Georgia native, to sing the National Anthem before the team’s game on Saturday with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.
And the Braves’ choice of Tritt predictably sent liberals who cheered Major League Baseball’s utterly political decision to move the All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest a new voting-integrity law in Georgia into a tizzy.
Typical of this type was Dan Wolken, a left-wing sports columnist for USA Today.
Back in February, when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver mandated that teams play the anthem before games, Wolken accused Silver of “cowardice” and wrote, “I’m tired of worrying about who’s doing what during the anthem. Play it, don’t play it; kneel, don’t kneel. What difference does it make?”
“Now, every time there’s a national anthem played during a sporting event, we have basically been reduced to hall monitors checking to see who is and isn’t participating in rote acts of superficial patriotism.”
Yet on Saturday, after the Braves’ announcement of Tritt became known, Wolken noted that the “Braves have chosen to wade knee-deep into the culture war of the moment and bring COVID-19 politics into the ballpark.” He added that by selecting Tritt, the team had extended “a middle finger to the segment of its fan base that stands on the side of science and an endorsement of the kind of misinformation that keeps the COVID-19 pandemic going strong.”
Wolken, as sports writer, should have known that every weekend for weeks now college and pro football teams have played before hundreds of thousands of maskless, unvaccinated fans – and not a single one of them has turned into a superspreader event.
Nonetheless, Tritt was grateful the Braves stood by their commitment and allowed him to sing.
Early Sunday morning, Tritt tweeted, “So the wing nut cancel culture tried to pressure the Atlanta Braves into forcing me not to sing the National Anthem at Game 6 of the NLCS. I’m so thankful that the @braves did not cave to this pressure and refused to be bullied. Thanks for allowing me to pay tribute to America.”
In an interview with Newsmax on Monday, Tritt added he was thrilled and honored by the invitation – which was made sweeter for him and other Braves fans since the team won and will now play in the World Series.
“I stand for people having the freedom of choice,” Tritt said. “When it comes to the vaccines obviously, you’re going to take a lot of grief for that, and I have. But I’ve also got a tremendous amount of support, which is extremely encouraging to me because this is something that we can’t do alone if we are going to preserve our freedoms in this country and our freedom of choice.”
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