Since the 9/11 terror attacks, “God Bless America” has blared through the speakers during every 7th inning stretch at Yankees Stadium, replacing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” as the galvanizing tune at that point in the game.

 

For some, the song has different meanings and evokes different emotions, but in the case of Yankees star Aaron Judge, his feelings towards that particular song can be explained with two simple words… ‘Thank You.’

 

Judge recently spoke about his connection to ‘God Bless America’ and why the song is inspirational.

 

Singing ‘God Bless America’ is my sign of respect for the veterans who are being honored on the field,” Judge would say in interviews when explaining his passion for singing the song.

“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.”

 

 

Even Through Controversy, Judge Is Standing on Business and For Good Reason

 

Before 2019 the New York Yankees played Kate Smith’s iconic 1939 rendition of “God Bless America”. But when racist lyrics from her past songs surfaced, Yankees fans boycotted the team causing the organization to switch to the Roger Merrill version going forward.

 

The Yankees Phenom emphasized that singing the song isn’t about politics or just an obligation. Instead, it embodies his appreciation for those who fought to keep him safe, allowing him to play a game that he loves and hopes fans would join him and teammates in singing it to thank them for their contribution.

 

Judge is especially inspired from the men and women who made sacrifices during World War II.

 

“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 firefight – I say, ‘Thank you.’ I can’t thank them all, so I do it by singing.”

 

Judge Is A True Leader

 

Judge clearly loves his country, but he also believes in the freedom to worship, celebrate, protest and give praise as they are unalienable rights granted to every American citizen.

 

Back in 2020, Judge was a leader and outspoken about the kneeling controversy inspired by Colin Kaepernick’s desire to bring attention to police brutality, systemic racism and other racial and economic inequities in this country. No Yankees took a knee, but when discussing the possibility Judge’s main concern was that the Yankees remained a united front, regardless of the collective decision.

 

“That’s the beauty of America, is freedom of speech,” Judge said, according to the New York Post. “The freedom to express yourself. We’ve got a special platform being athletes. And being able to speak our mind and speak [to] what’s going on in this world. And some people express it online. Some people express it with words. Some people kneel, do what they need to do.”

 

It was a moment where Judge’s class, leadership and understanding of all races and emotional political opinions (Judge is adopted by two white parents) proved why he should be Yankees captain.

 

 

What’s Next for Aaron Judge?

 

Aaron Judge Moving To Centerfield This Season As Yankees Outfield Takes Shape

 

While we all rise with Judge to sing with him, Judge is also focused on helping the Yankees rise back to the World Series for the first time since 2009. According to Yankees Manager Aaron Boone, starting in spring training the two-time Gold Glove winner and Yankees captain Judge will be making a position switch to centerfield to make way for free agent superstar Juan Soto and solid additions MLBbro Trent Grisham and Alex Verdugo.
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