News and Commentary

When National Anthem Isn’t Played Before College Football Game, Team and Fans Respond in Act of Patriotism

On Saturday, a college football team from upstate New York suffered a season-ending loss at the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Stadium. But, frankly, the St. John Fisher College football team accomplished something more important that night.

At a time when national anthem protests are sweeping the nation, the Fisher football team went a drastically different direction, taking it upon themselves to belt-out the words of the national anthem when the patriotic song was conspicuously missing from the pre-game rituals. Fans took the patriotic gesture as a cue, proudly singing along with the players.

The moving moment was captured by video taken by Jen Ventura, mother to senior football player Dominick Ventura, and posted to the official St. John Fisher Football Booster Club Facebook page.

“ECAC playoff game in Philadelphia at Franklin Field and they didn’t play the national anthem so our boys sang it!! #proudamericans,” reads the Facebook post.

The post received many positive comments from proud Fisher fans.

“A class act, Fisher,” wrote Suzanne Meddaugh-Smith.

“Wow..that is fantastic. Great team and even better human beings,which is so much more important!!” remarked Elizabeth Doyle Daly.

“Proud to have been a part of such an amazing football program. Shame on them for not playing the anthem! Not surprised that the Fisher football family decided to take matters into their own hands. Thank you!” Travis Butchello wrote.

The Daily Wire spoke to Michelle Shipley, whose son is a senior on the Fisher football team, for comment on Saturday’s happenings.

“We are not sure why the Anthem was not played as it was played the night prior for [two] other games,” said Shipley. “The team was told that the anthem would be played and then proceeded not to for some reason. Both teams and the fans were prepared for it until the refs said no anthem after the coin flip. Our players stepped up at that point and started singing the anthem.”

“Very proud of our Cardinals!” she added.

Ventura, who attended the game, told The Daily Wire that she too had not been informed as to why the national anthem was omitted from the game, but said she was “proud” of the boys’ actions.

The boys lined up and waited for the playing of the national anthem like usual, explained Ventura, and when it became clear that it wasn’t going to be played, they started singing it themselves. She said the parents and fans in the stands soon joined in.

“We sounded terrible,” Ventura said with a laugh.

Ventura said she quickly scrambled for her phone and captured what she could on video.

“It was a very proud moment for us parents up in the stands,” she said.

A source told The Daily Wire that a police officer in attendance at the game personally thanked St. John Fisher Head Coach Paul Vosburgh for the boys’ patriotic actions. We reached out to Mr. Vosburgh for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.