Fans boo as U.S. national anthem is played
By Associated Press, 3/21/2003 00:47
MONTREAL (AP) Fans booed during the playing of the U.S. national anthem before the New York Islanders' 6-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.
The sellout crowd of 21,273 at Bell Centre was asked to ''show your support and respect for two great nations'' before the singing of the American and Canadian national anthems.
But a significant portion of the crowd booed throughout ''The Star-Spangled Banner'' in an apparent display of their displeasure with the U.S.-led war against Iraq. More than 200,000 people turned out for an anti-war demonstration in Montreal last Saturday.
''I'm sure there are a lot of people against the war, but some things people can't control,'' said New York's Alexei Yashin, who is from Russia. ''They were probably showing what they feel about it.''
Teammate Mark Parrish, a native of Bloomington, Minn., was upset hearing the boos.
''I came to the game pretty pumped up, but once I heard that it really got me going,'' Parrish said. ''So I guess I can thank them a little bit for getting me more pumped up.''