Report: NFL to play Black national anthem before ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ at season-opening games

Sports

(WNCN) — The NFL will play “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”, also referred to as the black national anthem before each of its season-opening games, according to ESPN’s Jason Reid.

According to Reid, someone will perform the song before “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played.

Some NFL coaches like the Carolina Panthers’ Matt Rhule said he is considering kneeling alongside his players during the national anthem this season in support of the movement against racial injustice.

The first-year coach from Baylor has told players he will support them if they express their views.

Rhule said he will confer with his players before making any decision on whether to kneel during the anthem.

In June, the NFL committed $250 million over 10 years to social justice initiatives, targeting what it calls “systemic racism” and supporting “the battle against the ongoing and historic injustices faced by African Americans.”

The league, which has raised $44 million in donations through its Inspire Change program, announced the additional $206 million commitment June 11. It plans to “work collaboratively with NFL players to support programs to address criminal justice reform, police reforms, and economic and educational advancement.”

The players want to see definitive action, of course. There has been increasing distrust of the NFL since San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest social injustice and police brutality. The message was misconstrued by the league and many team owners as anti-military and anti-flag. Goodell admitted as much in his video, though never mentioning Kaepernick, who has not found an NFL job the last three seasons.

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