When an official at a California softball game announced the national anthem wouldn’t be played before the championship, the crowd booed . . . then stood up and sung the song themselves!
The fans at the championship softball game between Clovis and Buchanan High Schools, were upset to learn “The Star-Spangled Banner” wasn’t going to be played before Friday night’s game, according to the Fresno Bee.
After booing the announcement, the crowd stood up and began singing the anthem a cappella.
The players stopped their warmups to face the American flag, which stood beyond the center-field wall, the Bee reports.
“Honestly, I was shocked [when] the announcer stated, ‘There will be no anthem. Let’s just play softball,’” witness Tiffany Marquez told the Bee. “Within seconds, you could hear people in the crowd singing and the volume of their voices building. There I was, standing in the middle of a true testament to unity and patriotism.”
When the song was over, everyone broke into applause, and the teams went on to play ball.
Event coordinator Bob Kayajanian says national protocol dictates that the anthem is only played before the first game of the day. But going forward, they will play the anthem at every game.
“We got caught [off-guard]. Both the teams turned to face the field, and they all started singing the national anthem. They started to play some music, and the people took that as the national anthem and they all started singing, which I think is obviously a wonderful thing to show off their patriotism,” Kayajanian told the Bee.