The Golden State Warriors featured megastars John Legend and Carlos Santana singing the National Anthem for games 1 and 2 of the NBA finals, and most people probably expected the Cavaliers to also invite a well-known recording artist to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” during game 3 in Cleveland on Wednesday. But at the Quicken Loans Arena tonight, the Cavs did something even better—they continued their tradition of asking the audience to do the singing instead of focusing attention on a superstar performer.
A hush came over the capacity crowd as the announcer said, “Now show your patriotism and continue a Cleveland tradition as we ask the best fans in the NBA to sing our National Anthem, once again lead by Jessica Ruiz.”
The house lights remained on the crowd as Ms. Ruiz began, “Cleveland, please join me in singing our National Anthem! ‘Oh, say can you see…'”
Everyone in the crowd knew just what to do. They immediately picked up where Ruiz left off and carried our nation’s beloved song the rest of the way. The camera panned around the “Q” and it was magical to see fans from all walks of life singing in unison: young men and women, dads with their little boys, senior citizens, and even teenageres. For a brief moment, everyone was able to put their differences aside and honor our country and those who have bravely and sacrificially fought and died to preserve our freedom.
And for a change, even Twitter found common ground and agreed that it was a beautiful moment:
It’s official. Professional sports should forever have the crowd sing the national anthem instead of pop stars butchering it. #CLEvsGSW
— Carlos Whittaker (@loswhit) June 9, 2016
The fabulous people of Cleveland Ohio just SANG the national anthem OUT LOUD. Well done
— Thought Sandwiches (@TruthAnchorNews) June 9, 2016
Having the whole arena sing the national anthem to start the game is one of the best ideas ever
— Jayson Arrell (@jaysonarrell) June 9, 2016
Well done, Cleveland!