Saturday, December 4, 2021

After criticizing COVID-19 rules, Tritt sings anthem on NLCS

ATLANTA (AP) – Country musician Travis Tritt, who canceled concerts at venues that required the COVID-19 vaccine or wearing a mask, sang the national anthem ahead of the sixth game of the NL Championships series on Saturday night.

Wearing a Braves jersey, Tritt received several rounds of applause when he was declared a “country music legend.”

There was a problem with Tritt’s microphone, but a worker quickly handed him a spare microphone, which allowed him to sing The Star-Spangled Banner without any problems.

With his last words, Tritt patted himself on the heart to loud applause from a crowd of approximately 41,000 people. He lingered a little in the best places behind the house, banging his fists, shaking hands and chatting with fans without masks.

Tritt, 58, was born in the suburbs of Marietta, near Braves Stadium. He actively supported Atlanta’s sports teams, even writing in 2004 a forgotten ode to the Falcons Fever city NFL team.

Tritt announced this week that he is canceling shows in Indiana, Mississippi, Illinois and Kentucky due to COVID-19 requirements, joining other notable entertainers such as Eric Clapton and Van Morrison in protesting against regulations aimed at containing the spread of the virus. which killed more than 700,000 people. Americans and nearly 5 million people worldwide.

Tritt told Billboard that he is “not against the vaccine,” but “against forcing people to take drugs they may not need or want.”

In August, he issued a statement claiming that COVID-19 security protocols “discriminate” against concertgoers and said he supported those who oppose “the suppression of any particular freedoms and fundamental human rights around the world.”

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Braves Stadium, Truist Park, has been fully busy for most of the season with no vaccination requirements, negative tests or fans wearing masks.

Major League Baseball requires non-playing personnel to have access to the field with vaccines.

“Our playoff policy is that unvaccinated people are not allowed into restricted areas and the field is a restricted area,” said John Blundell, MLB vice president of public affairs.

It is unclear if Tritt was vaccinated against COVID-19, but it was a moot point. He sang an anthem from the Truist Club lounge at the front desk.

Tritt’s choice to play the anthem came after Braves outfielder Jorge Soler said he had revisited his initial reluctance to receive the vaccine.

Soler tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of Game 4 of the NLDS and was dropped from the Braves list. He had no symptoms and was able to return to Game 5 against the Dodgers.

“I feel different now,” Soler said through an interpreter. “I feel bad about this and I’m going to get an injection as soon as I can.”

Tritt is a two-time Grammy Award winner with five songs topping the country music charts, the most recent being Best of Intentions in 2000.

Tritt was followed by another country music star, Atlanta-born Zach Brown, who performed a noisy “Play Ball” before the first performance.

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 and find his work at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry.

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AP Sports writer Charles Odum contributed to this report.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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