The announcer said that they would skip the national anthem, but the crowd wasn’t having it.
Fresno, CA – When a at Fresno State University softball game announcer told the crowd that they wouldn’t be playing the national anthem, the crowd took over (video below.)
The announcer told the crowd, “There will be no anthem, let’s just play softball,” according to the Fresno Bee.
The crowd at first let out a loud chorus of boos.
But then many in the crowd stood up and began singing the national anthem. Many fans removed their hats and placed their hands over their hearts.
The players stopped their pregame warmups to turn around and face the flag.
“Honestly, I was shocked (when) the announcer stated, ‘There will be no anthem, let’s just play softball,’” said Tiffany Marquez, who was at the game and posted video on Facebook, according to the Fresno Bee. “Within seconds, you could hear people in the crowd singing and the volume of their voices building. There I was, standing in the middle of a true testament to unity and patriotism.”
Bob Kayajanian, the event coordinator, said he was the one who made the mistake.
He said it was national protocol when multiple games are played to play the national anthem only before the first game.
“We got caught (off-guard),” Kayajanian told the Fresno Bee. He said that both teams turned to face the field and they all started singing the national anthem.
“They started to play some music and the people took that as the national anthem and they all started singing, which I think is obviously a wonderful thing to show off their patriotism,” Kayajanian said, according to the Fresno Bee.
Kayajanian said it was a learning experience and the going forward they would play the national anthem before every game.
You can see the video below: