The San Jose Sharks organization does not condone the booing of any nation’s National Anthem under any circumstances.
We were very surprised by the actions of a few fans prior to Game 5 on Sunday. Sharks fans have always been very respectful and there is no history of this type of behavior.
A series of events unfolded during Game 4 in Edmonton that undoubtedly helped lead to the reaction in San Jose Sunday night.
During the performance of The Star Spangled Banner prior to Game 4 in Edmonton (aired live and in its entirety by FSN Bay Area), the in-house video board showed a picture of San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton, to which some Edmonton fans began to boo.
Compounding the situation, due to technical difficulties with the in-house microphone feed that night that supplied the anthem singer’s voice, the FSN Bay Area broadcast was forced to use the “effects” microphones, which are the microphones placed throughout the arena to capture game sound.
The timing of the booing, coinciding with the audio feed capturing in-arena sound, led Sharks fans watching on FSN Bay Area to hear Edmonton fans booing the U.S. National Anthem.
Over the course of the Sharks 15-year history, Sharks fans have shown themselves to be among the most passionate and respectful fans in the game of hockey. We are proud of that support.
Many of our players and employees are Canadian. We were impressed by other fans in attendance who took it upon themselves to sing Oh Canada and our anthem in a show of support for both teams.
We look forward to an exciting Game 6 back in Edmonton.
(Original on sjsharks.com)
This brings to mind a similar anthem booing incident from the 2003 playoffs between the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Islanders.