There has been some discussion going on as to whether everyone on the National Team must sing the anthem. I know for sure that people are divided on the subject. I, myself, belong to a group of “non-singers”. In other words, I do not consider singing the anthem an indication of how much a team wants to win, how much they are willing to give, how “together” they are, or how much they are interested in playing for a particular country. To me, singing the National Anthem does not denote how much one loves his or her country. It is an attribute.
As you must have noticed by now, there are certain German players who do not sing the National Anthem. It looks like this has been named as one of the reasons why the team has not won major tournaments in recent years. (Well, that is just ridiculous, if you ask me.) It amazes me to see there are doubts as to how much a certain player wants to contribute. If he does not sing the anthem, it does not mean he does not try to win the game. I believe we have had plenty of proof of that. Several days ago, Joachim Low expressed his point of view, pointing out that singing the National Anthem is no indication whatsoever of how much the team wishes to work together and how much they want to win.
Now, Philipp Lahm joined the debate.
The full back of Bayern Munich believes “it’s good when everyone sings the anthem”, says Lahm to “Sport Bild Plus”. “It’s a supplementary ritual that can strengthen the solidarity of the team. However, I believe that the personal right of every individual [to decide] whether he sings along or not is of higher priority, and therefore, it should always remain a voluntary thing,” further differentiates Lahm. (the source)
Oh, how I love his way to phrase it. He acknowledges that it is a good thing and certainly brings only positive emotions, but he emphasizes that is not all. His choice of the word “supplementary”, “additional”, is spot on. And I do agree with Lahm that it is a player’s prerogative. I expect him to take some heat for his opinion, but has it ever been otherwise?