I must be honest and say I am known to go on a bit about this subject. It really irks me! Whenever I catch sight of it, usually out of the corner of my eye as I hasten past the TV set, I want to punch the screen. My reaction is not rational, I realise that. But then, I'm most definitely NOT a sports fan so I could avoid seeing it altogether by staying as far away from the small screen as possible when I know it might take place. But somehow I don't do that. If I had my way I'd sack the main miscreants from the national team, whether they were outstanding players or not.
Why oh WHY can't New Zealand rugby players sing their own national anthem? With only a couple of exceptions they stand in an embarrassed-to-be-caught-semi-singing pose, hardly opening their mouths and shuffling their feet awkwardly. They look so foolish. And lately we've been exposed only to a back view of them during the anthem singing spot - almost as if the camera man himself is trying to save the viewers from the humiliating spectacle of the rugby greats who will not sing.
Compare them with the Welsh for instance, who stand tall and proud and all belong to local valley choirs - or the French - or even the Italians on a good day.
I find it difficult to accept the fact that they cannot learn the words, don't remember the tune. They all seem to find it quite easy to learn to do quite complex Haka routines after all.