When it comes to the singing of the national anthem, the NHL hasn’t had to face even a sliver of the level of criticism that the NFL has had to deal with.
And for good reason.
The NHL has never had a player kneel for the anthem or turn it into a political platform to protest.
The NFL, meanwhile, has had so many players protest the anthem that President Donald Trump felt compelled to criticize them for it.
Well, the NHL finally has its own minor controversy surrounding the national anthem, though it has nothing to do with its players.
Rather, the NHL is being ridiculed for their selection of singer for the national anthem before the 2018 NHL All-Star Games in Tampa.
The NHL tabbed country music singer Brett Young to perform the national anthem before its All-Star games commenced Sunday, and he turned in an uneven performance at best.
While nobody can deny Young his singing chops, he certainly turned in an interesting performance.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” is a fantastic, goosebump-inducing song that hardly needs any alterations.
Young, however, felt compelled to add awkward pauses that gave the song an alien and staccato feel to it. Those in the crowd who tried to sing along were audibly confused.
Naturaly, as people often do on social media, NHL fans freaked out and ripped Young’s performance.
Crowd gets hilariously impatient with the world's worst anthem singer, who took about 17 micro-naps during the song.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) January 28, 2018
I don’t know who just sang the national anthem at the NHL All Star game, but he should never be allowed to sing it again.
— Kyle O'Keefe (@kylepokeefe) January 28, 2018
Watching NHL All Star game. @BrettYoungMusic butchered the National Anthem. Just sing it like it is suppose to be sung! Quit trying to put your signature on it! Lyndsay Ell was spot on the the Canadian National Anthem. #NationalAnthem #NHLAllStarWeekend
— TD Lowe (@TDLow1) January 28, 2018
Nobody seems to be quibbling with Young’s actual singing ability. Rather, it’s his stylistic choices has fans riled up.
All joking aside, the NHL’s All-Star national anthem “problem” is one the NFL would gladly embrace.
The NHL All-Star Games have a different structure than other pro sports. The NHL fields four teams, one for each division. Those teams play a condensed 3-on-3 semifinal game, with the winners advancing to the All-Star final.
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