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Week 1 of the NFL season debuted with a matchup featuring America’s team and America’s champs.
Before kickoff was underway between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers though, the league showcased its first dual-anthem introduction by playing “Lift Every Voice And Sing” prior to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” “Lift Every Voice” originates from a 1905 poem by civil rights activist James Weldon Johnson.
Now two anthems (and counting) have been implemented, but the NFL and Roger Goodell’s mission to lead an all-inclusive league has rubbed a number fans the wrong way. Many see it as a form of pandering to the PC mob comprised of the lingering Kaepernick fan base and those who supported last year’s protests following the death of George Floyd.
After a summer of rampant racial protests in 2020, Goodell announced the decision to play the complementary anthem before every league game. “We, the National Football League, believe Black lives matter. … Without Black players there would be no National Football League,” declared the commissioner.
He added, “[T]he protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of Black players, coaches, fans and staff.”
Reactions across Twitter panned the new “Black National Anthem,” calling the split ceremonies a blatant separation of festivities for white and black Americans, and a slippery slope for more songs to be introduced rather than committing to the established all-inclusive national anthem.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela