The NFL reportedly plans to have “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the “Black national anthem,” performed or played before all Week 1 games this season.
From CNN: According to the source, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” will be played before “The Star-Spangled Banner.” This will begin with the nationally televised first game of the season, which is on September 10, when the defending Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, host the Houston Texans. The song also will be played during the full slate of those Week 1 Sunday afternoon games, during Sunday Night Football and during the two ESPN Monday night games, the source says. Additionally, the source says that the league is working collaboratively with players to recognize victims of systemic racism throughout the season. Among the items being discussed with players are adding names of victims on helmet decals or jerseys patches, as well as educational programs and storytelling (such as additional PSAs about the victims and their families).
Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz was among those who criticized the league’s plan.
“How many national anthems do we have??” Cruz wrote on Twitter. “Is there an Hispanic national anthem? An Asian-American national anthem? This is asinine. We are ONE America. E Pluribus Unum.”
Other Twitter users followed suit, and by Friday morning, the hashtag #BoycottNFL was trending: