[Jews and their junk result in this crazy nonsense. This bowing down and pandering to the Blacks is insane. Jan]
Thursday’s NFL opener between the Buccaneers and the Cowboys saw a rendition of ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ before the game, but fans are slating the ‘black national anthem’ as being little more than an empty gesture.
If some football fans were turned off by last season’s embracing of social justice causes within the National Football League, the opening of Thursday night’s broadcast of the game between Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay and Dallas has done little to invite them back after Grammy award-winning singer Alicia Keys performed the song, originally written by civil rights activist James Weldon Johnson more than a century ago, prior to kick-off.
‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ was performed afterwards.
The song was first introduced to the league last season amid its drive for social justice causes sparked by the murder in May 2020 of George Floyd – but the renditions, along with several other gestures such as players kneeling before a game, have proved to be a divisive issue amongst football fans, many of whom state that sports and politics should be kept separate.
"Tonight, the NFL, as it did last year, will present ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ also known as the Black national anthem," NBC’s Mike Tirico said, introducing the performance.
"And it will happen at several league events during the year — the NFL continuing the attention around social justice causes."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has fervently embraced the league’s rallying around issues of social justice, saying last year: "We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.
"Without black players, there would be no National Football League, and the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of Black players coaches, fans and staff."
Convervative talking heads in the United States haven’t been quite so forthcoming. Reacting to reports of the black anthem being played before games, right-wing journalist Megyn Kelly said that playing a song highlighting the struggles African-Americans have historically faced during the last century or more isn’t a necessary endeavor.
"I don’t think people want politics in their sports. I think that’s why the NBA has taken such a hit and learned from its prior experience," Kelly recently said on her podcast. "The NFL doesn’t seem to be learning quite as quickly.
"I don’t think that the average American – black or white – wants to hear the black national anthem before they hear the national anthem… and it’s no offense against people of color, we’re one country. We don’t need separate anthems.
"It’s a chance to come together. Celebrate America… and then play a sports game. And not to shove politics or divisive cultural issues down the throats of the viewers who are looking for a getaway."
While the rendition of ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ ahead of games appears to be mostly endorsed by the people it has been installed to accommodate – the players themselves – others suggest that it is little more than an empty marketing gesture aimed at a sport whose competitors are disproportionately young black men.
The counterpoint offered by those who endorse the song is simple: why are people complaining?
The song was already performed prior to this year’s Super Bowl and is also played before games at many prominent colleges and universities within the United States.
The composition, they say, has long been cherished by many black Americans, and its promotion to national broadcasts shouldn’t be the source of the type of culture war which has bled into sports in the past year or two.
But judging by the reaction on Twitter, that is a destination which seems increasingly distant.
"Did they just play the "Black National Anthem" to start off the NFL season? Time to change the channel," wrote author and Trump loyalist Nick Adams online.
"So the NFL just played the Black National Anthem… well what about the Jewish National Anthem?
"What about the Asian National Anthem? What about the Hispanic, or as they say, ‘latinx’ National Anthem? Seems awfully discriminatory to me," added another.
"I see the NFL is back on their performative allyship. No-one asked for the black national anthem," wrote a third.