I saw on twitter tonight numerous references to Habs fans "booing" the US anthem, as well as LA Kings fans booing the Canadian anthem. I'm not that surprised, as I've heard of this behavior behavior before, specifically at NHL hockey games (which has the most International play of any US major sport).
I, for one, cannot stand for this. I WILL NOT stand for this. I am here to plead with Caps fans to NOT stoop to this level.
Before game 1 of this series, I said to a friend of mine who was going to the game with me, "I really hope we don't hear any boos during the Canadian anthem". His response? "Why the hell would you even expect that?". I explained that it's happened before, so it wouldn't be unprecedented, especially during the playoffs. He told me I was crazy and that "there is no way Caps fans would do that".
He was right. I was proud, very proud of that. I am, however, afraid now that word of boos coming out of Montreal will become public knowledge, and some Caps fans will feel the need to return the favor on Friday.
Here is my stance on this: when you boo the national anthem, you are not booing just the team on the ice, nor the players on that team, but rather every member of the nation that anthem stands for. The anthem stands for every man or woman who has ever sacrificed their lives to protect our right to hear it. I don't care if it's "O Canada" or "The Star Spangled Banner", these anthems represent so much more than the game about to be played.
I could probably write a 10,000+ word post on just how I feel about this, but I do not want this to come across as a lecture or sermon. I just want to ask that Caps fans rise above this behavior, and don't stoop to this level. I'm not asking people to wave Canadian flags and scream the lyrics at the top of their lungs, I'm just asking folks to give the anthems the respect they deserve, and refrain from booing when teams from our neighbors to the north come to visit for a friendly game of hockey at the Verizon Center...a game we'd never be able to watch it if were not for the sacrifices made by those we honor by singing the National Anthem(s) before every puck drops.