NFL To Play ‘Black National Anthem’ Before Star-Spangled Banner In Future Games


NFL To Play 'Black National Anthem' Before Star Spangled Banner In Future GamesPA Images

The ‘Black national anthem’ will play before The Star-Spangled Banner in future NFL games, a new report says. 

Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing, written by J. Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson, is often referred to as the Black national anthem across the US.


The decision to play the song before every week one NFL game, and prior to The Star-Spangled Banner, comes amid the sports body’s increased awareness of systemic racism and police brutality across the country, with commissioner Roger Goodell recently admitting ‘we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all players to speak out and peacefully protest’.

The news first emerged from Front Office Sports, later corroborated by ESPN, with a source familiar with discussions saying the NFL is ‘bringing back a lot of elements from last year’ and its initial efforts to campaign against racial inequality. It previously announced a 10-year, $250 million commitment to fight systemic racism.

The league hopes playing the song, among other proposals, will show ‘a genuine commitment to the public, players and coaches and that player voices continue to be heard. This is key to educating fans, and becoming a prominent voice in the fight to end racism’, the source said in a text message.


The anthem will be played for the first time before the NFL’s season opener with the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans on September 9, and will also play at other ‘tentpole events’ like the Super Bowl, NFL Playoffs, NFL Draft and NFL Kickoff game.

Alicia Keys and The Cleveland All-City Choir performed Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing before Super Bowl LV and the NFL Draft this year.

Unsurprisingly, the news hasn’t been taken well by Fox News presenters. ‘So the NFL will include the Black national anthem and ‘social justice messages’ in the 2021 season. That should do wonnnnders for ratings,’ Tomi Lahren tweeted.


‘Why do the Dems have to inject politics into sports? The NFL is playing the Black national anthem and the Olympic committee is redesigning its flag logo. We already have a flag and an anthem,’ Sean Hannity also wrote.

However, as Xavier Pope pointed out, ‘right wing media and personalities are treating Lift Every Voice and Sing (informally referred to as the Black National Anthem) like it’s a new rebellious Black Lives Matter revenge porn song when it is a 120 year old song of cultural pride and equal inclusion in America.’

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Topics: News, national anthem, NFL, Sport, US


Front Office Sports and 1 other
  1. Front Office Sports

    NFL to Roll Out More Social Justice Messaging in 2021 Season

  2. ESPN

    Source: NFL plans to play Black national anthem before Week 1 games

Cameron Frew
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