TULSA, Okla. — A local soccer club is announcing they will no longer play “The Star-Spangled Banner” at home games, replacing it with “This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie.
Tulsa Athletic, who play in the National Premier Soccer League, made the announcement Wednesday.
They also made an announcement outside the Woody Guthrie Center and released a full statement on their website.
“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,” the club says.
Club officials say players and fans are welcome to sing along if they are comfortable and all forms of patriotic expression are respected at Tulsa Athletic matches.
“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.”
Tulsa Athletic’s mission is to create an inclusive community through the game of soccer.
All home matches are played at Veterans Park in Downtown Tulsa.
For more information, you can go here.