A pro-family leader in Pennsylvania is not buying a state hockey
league's claim that it wants to stop singing the National Anthem
before games to save money.
According to Ed Sam of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey
League (PIHL), eliminating the National Anthem "has nothing to do
with patriotism" and everything to do with economics. Officials
claim that at $300 an hour, ice is too expensive to allow time for
the song. But Diane Gramley of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania
thinks the move is political.
"It's disgraceful that they would even consider not
playing the National Anthem," she contends. "I don't care what the
cost of ice is. Hopefully they will reconsider, but if this
continues … I can see it having a ripple effect into other
The decision affects the 183 high schools that play in the
league, and it has been met with fierce opposition from parents and
"We need to have patriotism encouraged rather than discouraged,"
Gramley insists. "And for the students to see their hockey league
doing this, to me it's not a good idea."
If the ice rinks rent for about $300 an hour and the National
Anthem takes two to three minutes to play, that would save about
$10 to $15 dollars a game. But the AFA of Pennsylvania reports that
the PIHL posted a "special statement" on its website November
"The PIHL has not banned the National Anthem," it reads. "A
badly worded statement went out to teams about the subject, and it
has since been clarified and corrected. We apologize for the
misunderstanding, but the National Anthem has not and will not be