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Getting rid of the anthem in sports now will let the wrong people off the hook

It would have been inconceivable just a few years ago, but the longstanding tradition of playing the national anthem before sporting events in the United States of America is legitimately up for debate.

The topic roared back to fore over the weekend, after the National Women’s Soccer League became the first North American team sports league to resume amid the coronavirus pandemic and — more pertinently — the first to return since the killing of George Floyd sparked worldwide outrage. As “The Star-Spangled Banner” played before Saturday’s nationally televised NWSL Challenge Cup opener, every starter for the North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns took a knee to protest against systemic racism and police brutality and to support the Black Lives Matter movement.