No Guns? No Anthem: Singer Turns Down Offer to Perform the Nat’l Anthem Until Minor League Team Respects 2nd Amendment

AP Rich Pedroncelli
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

A woman invited to sing that national anthem at an upcoming Reno Aces baseball game, has turned down the offer saying she will not sing until the team respects the fans’ Second Amendment rights.

Arizona minor league baseball team, the Reno Aces, invited Alishia Wolcott, a 2016 graduate of the University of Nevada at Reno, to perform the national anthem during an upcoming game this season. However, the woman refused the offer when she found out that the team has banned legally carried concealed weapons at the ballpark.

“I WILL NOT sing our National Anthem at a place that seeks to strip me of my second amendment rights!!!” Wolcott said on Twitter, Tuesday:

Wolcott also took to the pages of the Reno Gazette with an open letter informing fans of her decision and her reasoning for turning down the offer to sing the anthem.

Wolcott began her letter thanking the team for the offer and noting that she is a “proud citizen of the United States.” But the singer continued saying that she cannot accept the offer because, due to the gun ban, the team has “fallen prey to the absurd idea that American citizens need only trust their government for protection.”

“This is indeed a lie and a blatant disregard for our constitutional rights,” she continued.

Wolcott added that she and her husband did not feel disposed to place their “protection” in others’ hands and have decided not to go to the ballpark based on that.

“As I am sure you are well aware, we walked away. We walked away angry and disappointed. Angry at the stripping away of self-protection. Disappointed because it happened at a venue that hosts one of America’s favorite pastimes,” she wrote.

As a result of this, I will not sing our national anthem at a place that seeks to strip me of my Second Amendment rights, nor will I be attending any future events at the Aces’ ballpark while these things take place. The actions you have taken have now placed you as part of the fact that this song — this beautiful expression of our freedoms and our rights — is about a country that is slowly ceasing to exist. Little by little, every single day, more and more is being done to chip away at our freedoms — the ones so valiantly fought for as referenced in our anthem.

Wolcott ended her letter noting that she decided against a “Colin Kaepernick style protest” at the park and decided simply to turn down the offer outright:

I must also tell you, I spent much time thinking about how I would decline this opportunity. I heavily considered the idea of sharing my thoughts in the microphone at the game (a sort of Colin Kaepernick style protest) — telling the fans why it is I am refusing to sing. But I have too much respect for the national anthem and the time dedicated for it. I just cannot be the one to perform it in this venue.

Team officials insisted that the stricter security will remain and will take place for every event at Greater Nevada Field.

Eric Edelstein, president of the Reno Aces and the Reno 1868 Football Club, released a statement saying that the measures were instituted to keep fans safe.

“We will always place fan safety as our top priority at our stadium,” Edelstein said. “We have joined every other ticketed sports facility in Reno, as well as every Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer venue in the United States in the use of metal detection. The list of prohibited items at Greater Nevada Field has remained unchanged since our inception in 2009.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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