Halifax — At a Halifax Mooseheads game on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 11, the entire crowd of more than 8,000 refused to stand for or even sing the American national anthem. In apparent solidarity with growing number of NFL players sitting or kneeling during the national anthem, Maestro Langston Dowe simply left the ice after finishing final note of “O Canada.”
“He just went and sat down, so we all sat down too,” said Heather Townsend, who was in attendance for the game against the Saint John Sea Dogs. “At first I was nervous, I thought, ‘Are we really doing this?’ But in the end, I was proud of the singer guy and I felt good supporting him.”
The Manatee reached out to Maestro Dowe and found that he plans to continue his protest. “From now on, the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ will not, I repeat, will not be performed in the Halifax Forum. Unless a sports team from the States shows up… because then, you know, there might be Americans there and we don’t want to offend anyone or anything.”
Other sporting arenas in Atlantic Canada have already announced their intentions to join the Halifax protest. The idea was met with firm resistance, however, in Ontario. On the same evening of the Halifax protest, before a game between the Guelph Storm and the Saginaw Spirit, the Guelph crowd almost unanimously stood for the U.S. national anthem.