Tulsa Athletic, a soccer team based in Tulsa, announced that it will no longer play The Star-Spangled Banner at any of its home matches.
Officials said in place of The Star-Spangled Banner Woody Guthrie's This Land is Your Land will be played as a song of patriotism.
Officials said in a news release that this decision was made after reviewing the words and meaning of the The Star-Spangled Banner and cited a section in the third verse.
Officials stated that "[w]hile this verse is rarely sung, Tulsa Athletic does not believe “The Star-Spangled Banner” represents or unites their diverse players, fans and community."
The co-owner of Tulsa Athletic, Sonny Dalesandro, said . “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.”
Tulsa Athletic plans to play This Land is Your Land for the first time at a special Equality Cup against Minneapolis City at Veterans Park in Tulsa.