England’s players are under orders to ‘belt out’ the national anthem as they compete to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
The country’s athletes have previously been criticized for failing to sing the national anthem. Notably, footballer, Wayne Rooney did not sing at the start of his international career while Gary Neville used to refuse to join in, preferring to “focus on the match” instead.
History reveals players that have been allowed to make a decision whether or not they joined in with the anthem. However, it has been a feature of this tournament that every member of the team has sung the anthem with pride.
Ashley Young did not play for England for more than four years before being recalled by Southgate in 2017 and the 32-year-old has noticed in the difference in how the anthem is now approached by the players.
“When I came back into the squad, it was very important that everybody else knew the national anthem and sang their hearts out,” said Young.
Young insists he would not fear to have to take another penalty and would, in no particular order, join Harry Kane, Jordan Henderson, Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard, Kieran Trippier, Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford in stepping forward.
The anthem and its relationship with sports are far less of a thorny issue in Great Britain compared to the United States. Issues of equality that sparked the anthem protests in the National Football League and elsewhere are less in the public spotlight in the United Kingdom.