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Aaron Judge Explains Why He Sings ‘God Bless America’ — What It Means To Him

Aaron Judge discusses re-signing with the Yankees and getting advice from Derek Jeter | 'The Tonight Show' via National Broadcasting Company

In recent years, it’s become increasingly popular for professional athletes to virtue signal and promote left-wing social activism while using their sport as a backdrop.

WNBA player Brittney Griner once admitted that she refused to be present for the playing of the National Anthem and instead remained in the locker room until it was finished.

New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge proved where he stands on the issue by standing and singing “God Bless America.”

Judge says he takes the tradition very seriously. During the seventh inning stretch, Yankee stadium has played the song since the 9/11 terror attacks.

“Singing ‘God Bless America’ is my sign of respect for the veterans who are being honored on the field,” Judge said.

“They’re 70 years old, some are 80, some are 90 and can barely walk. You see an old photo of them, their rank, what branch of the service, where they fought. I have nothing but respect for them.”

Judge holds the American League record for most home runs in a season last year with 62. He also won the 2022 American League MVP Award, earning 28 of 30 first-place votes.

Judge’s teammates Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Higashioka and Anthony Volpe also sing the patriotic tune.

“So every time the anthem is played, especially on Opening Day, when we’re lined up (at the first base line) or when ‘God Bless America’ is played, I’m thanking those who made it possible for me to play a baseball game and make a living like that,” Judge added.

“Every time I see a soldier or Marine or sailor – or a policeman or firefighter – I say, ‘Thank you.’ I can’t thank them all, so I do it by singing.”

In 2019, the organization made the decision to switch from Kate Smith’s rendition of the song to Robert Merrill’s version. This change was prompted by the discovery of racist lyrics in Smith’s past songs. The spotlight was focused on her, and Yankees fans even threatened to boycott the team over the 1939 rendition of the song.

In response to this controversy, Judge, a player for the Yankees, expressed his hope that fans would continue to show their support by joining him and his teammates in singing the song.

He emphasized that patriotism should be separated from politics. Judge also expressed his admiration for the courageous sacrifices made by the young men and women during World War II.

Judge has been sidelined since the beginning of June due to a toe injury. Despite this setback, he has performed well, maintaining a batting average of .291, an OPS of 1.078, and hitting 19 home runs.

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