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The Atlanta Braves have picked country singer Travis Tritt to sing the national anthem to open Game 6 of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Tritt made the announcement on Twitter.
— Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) October 23, 2021
Tritt, a Georgia native, has been very outspoken about his opposition to vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 safety measure. Earlier this week Tritt announced that he's canceling concerts in four states due to their required COVID-19 safety measures. Venues in Mississippi, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana require concertgoers to wear masks, show proof of vaccination, or proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
In an interview with Billboard, Tritt said that he decided to cancel the shows due to the negative comments he received after performing in venues with COVID requirements. In August, he released a statement that said vaccine mandates were "discriminating" against people who choose to remain unvaccinated. He implied that vaccine mandates are akin to “the squelching of any specific freedoms and basic human rights around the world.”
If Tritt had for some reason been chosen to sing the national anthem at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, he might have said no since Los Angeles County requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter large venues. Georgia's Cobb County has no such requirements.
Tritt told Billboard that he's not against the vaccine, but "against forcing people to take medicine that they may not need and may not want." The CDC has advised everyone age 12 and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
MLB requires every non-player who comes onto the field to be vaccinated. and a Braves spokesperson told the Washington Post that the team will follow all COVID-19 for the singing of the national anthem. It doesn't appear that Tritt has shared his personal vaccination status.