Sean Hannity called on U.S. sports fans to “take their sports back” from the divisions of politics Thursday after NHL fans were seen singing the national anthem during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“I want fans to take over every sport, loudly, proudly, unapologetically,” the “Hannity” host said while playing footage of thousands of Tampa Bay Lightning fans singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in their Florida arena before Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday night.
“I want this to become the norm… baseball, basketball, football, UFC, every sport.”
At a time when far-left groups are polarizing everything from Independence Day observance to the American flag, Hannity encouraged fans across the sports spectrum to stand up and sing on behalf of the country. Hannity discussed his love for sports and its power to unite Americans.
“I’ve played sports my whole life,” he explained. “You go and you have a group of people, all socioeconomic background, all races, all creeds, et cetera, everybody, united by a common passion, and that is a love of their home team. I think this is one way for fans to take their sports back and get rid of the politics that is poisoning what should be the most unifying moment with strangers of all backgrounds.”
“That’s America,” Laura Ingraham agreed, before kicking off “The Ingraham Angle.”
“Everyone hating on the flag and ‘America’s awful, rotten, racist,’ that’s just not where most people are. I don’t care — I don’t care what they’re teaching in the schools. That’s not what most people want to hear. That is awesome and I completely agree with you.”
New York Islanders fans went viral in June for stepping in to sing the anthem after the Nassau Coliseum singer’s microphone stopped working before Game 4 of their playoff series against Boston. Fans joined in signing the anthem once again before Game 6.
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Earlier in the show, Hannity referenced a fiery Fourth of July Facebook post by Utah’s Black Lives Matter Chapter which declared the American flag “a symbol of hatred.” Fox News contributor Leo Terell told Hannity that the post only exposes “how racist Black Lives Matter is.
“I am happy they are doing this…because it is tearing the country apart. Black lives Matter… they don’t speak for me,” Terell said. “I love this country, I love the American flag and I’m sick of people like Al Sharpton… trying to speak for Black Americans. 99.9% of black Americans support the flag and love it country and don’t associate with black lives matter Utah,” he said.
The New York Times was ripped last weekend for publishing a piece that suggested the American flag has become a symbol of divisiveness. Just weeks before, one of their contributors, Mara Gay, said on MSNBC that she was “disturbed” to see “dozens of American flags” flown by Trump supporters during a weekend trip to Long Island, New York.
The piece came on the heels of Olympian Gwen Berry turning her back to the American flag while the national anthem played at the Olympic trials and Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., declaring in a July 4th tweet that freedom in America is only for “white people.”
Fox News’ Yael Halon contributed to this report.