Patriotic softball fans attending an NCAA regional hit a vocal home run when they all joined in to sing the national anthem on their own.
Since the Star Spangled Banner had already been played before an earlier game at the venue, officials announced over the public system there would be no replay of the song that honors America and that is traditionally presented before sporting events.
The crowd assembled in Lafayette, Louisiana, for the game between the University of Louisiana — Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns and the Baylor Bears on Sunday night had other ideas. They collectively rose to their feet to sing the anthem without any accompaniment from musical instruments, piped-in music, or an in-person artist. The impromptu rendition of the national anthem was captured on cell phone video, and various versions were subsequently posted to social media. See embedded footage below.
“The crowd unsuccessfully urged the public address booth to play the song before Louisiana — Lafayette and Baylor played… Fans of the host team figured the solution was simple: sing it a cappella. Players stopped their warm-ups to turn and join the crowd,” KMOV explained.
One Cajun fan described the crowd’s reaction to the cancelled national anthem and what happened next, KLFY News reported.
“We’re standing up to do the national anthem and they said you don’t need to stand up, you don’t need to take your hats off. We aren’t doing the national anthem. We’ve already done it. Don’t tell a bunch of Cajun fans who love their softball team that they can’t sing the National Anthem. You don’t have to play it but we’re going to sing it.”
Reacting to the spontaneous display of patriotism, the head coach of the Cajuns’ softball team, Michael Lotief, admitted that what transpired on his team’s home field gave him goose bumps.
“The fact that our crowd would do that shows you how classy they are. They are here for softball, but there also here to do it right. They understand the tradition of the game. They understand the festivity of the game, and singing the national anthem before it started was only the right thing to do.”
The Cajuns defeated the Bears 9-1 in the game to advance in the NCAA softball playoffs for a matchup against Auburn this coming weekend.
— Baylor Softball (@BaylorSoftball) May 17, 2015
[Photo by Todd Warshaw / Getty Images Sport]