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Travis Tritt, who is against vaccine mandates, to sing national anthem before Game 6 of NLCS

Country music star Travis Tritt will perform the national anthem at Game 6 of the NLCS. (Dave McMillion/The Herald-Mail/AP)
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ATLANTA — If Game 6 of the National League Championship Series were held at Dodger Stadium, country star Travis Tritt probably would not be willing to perform the national anthem.

Doing so would violate the Georgia native’s oft-stated policy against performing in any venue that requires patrons to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test has been required for entry into Dodgers home games throughout the postseason.

Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, does not have such a policy. Tritt will perform the national anthem there Saturday night.

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The Braves chose Tritt because he is a big fan of the team. Most teams bring out their most high-profile fans this time of year.

But the choice is somewhat puzzling because it seems to court unnecessary controversy, given Tritt’s stance against vaccination mandates. In late August, the singer released the following statement outlining his opposition to those mandates — a statement he ended with a quote from Atlanta native Martin Luther King Jr.

The state of Georgia requires children to receive multiple vaccinations “to protect them from any of 16 serious diseases” before attending school there.

The Atlanta franchise was one of the first major league teams to open free vaccination clinics in its stadium. Their star, Freddie Freeman, endured one of the most high-profile coronavirus cases of any professional athlete, one that left him praying “please don’t take me” when the effects of the virus were at their worst.

A Braves spokeswoman said the team will, of course, follow all covid protocols as Tritt sings the anthem. Major League Baseball has enforced strict guidelines requiring any non-players to be vaccinated in order to be on the field at any point. Vaccines are not mandatory for the players, and roughly 15 percent of major leaguers remained unvaccinated when the regular season ended.

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