University of Connecticut basketball games now begin with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance — and not everyone is thrilled about it.
Interim athletic director Paul Pendergast thought it would be a nice idea to include the pledge before singing the national anthem.
“To lead into the national anthem with the Pledge of Allegiance gives the fans a little extra insight into what the anthem is all about,” Pendergast told the Hartford Courant
. “I think as a prelude to the anthem, the pledge has put people into a different frame of mind so that the anthem is not rote, as it sometimes seems to be. I think the two work very well together.”
But some fans posting on Internet message boards say patriotism has nothing to do with whether or not you win a basketball game.
“Basketball games are sporting events, not patriotic gatherings. What’s next? Pledging allegiance when I get my driver’s license?” asked on poster on TheBoneyard.com, which bills itself as the Huskies’ No. 1 fan site.
Others were concerned because of the phrase “under God” in the pledge. “I’m never a fan of overt religiosity at sporting events, and this feels over the edge,” one poster wrote.
Pendergast said that if people don’t want to recite the pledge, they don’t have to. He told the Courant he hasn’t received any “negative feedback.”
“It caught me by surprise when we started doing it,” women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma told the paper. “It’s like anything else. You will have people complain about it and others that love it.”
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