The National Football League takes a bold step towards the Black Lives Matter movement and social injustice by deciding to play the African-American national anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing” before a NFL game.
The song will be played prior to “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the first game played in a 16-week schedule.
“Actually its a very beautiful song. l read the lyrics probably 15 times. ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ is deeply moving... uplifting. It’s a beautiful song,” WWL’s Newell Normand said on his radio show Monday.
“But what does this do? I thought we have all been fighting about inclusivity? So, now we are going to start dissecting ourselves with multiple national anthems? What’s next? Who is entitled to the next national anthem? This is one seriously flawed concept,” said Normand.
The NFL says it is also discussing with league players the possibility of wearing a decal or jersey patch recognizing a victim of social injustice. For example, a player could wear the letters “G.F.” on their helmet representing George Floyd killed by a Minneapolis police officer back in May.
“But decals based on what criteria? On how they subjectively view the world? About how they feel about what was done to an individual without ever having their day in court,” asked Normand.
“I think it’s a slap in the face, actually...quite frankly...to black athletes and black Americans. They aren’t looking for symbolism. They’re looking for something real. Something actionable. A strategy. Every African American caller we had today expressed that sentiment. I don’t blame them.”
Newell continues, “There are cases of police brutality, cases where officers have evil in their hearts and we need to set up better systems in order to identify and root out bad actors. And, that’s not just in police employment, but we need to root out racism with any opportunity we have to do so.”