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NFL plans to play Black national anthem ahead of the 2021 season

The NFL announced plans to perform or play the black national anthem, before games during the beginning of this year’s season, ESPN reports.    

‘Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing,’ traditionally referred to as the black national anthem, will be performed before ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ during the season opener on September 10, when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans.

The NFL, in collaboration with the NFL Players Association, is also considering featuring names of victims who suffered police brutality on uniforms, helmets or patches on jerseys.   

The NFL announced it plans to perform or play the Black national anthem, before games during the beginning of this year’s season, ESPN reports

The NFL has recently displayed increased awareness about the issues of systemic racism, with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (pictured) admitting the league was wrong in how it approached NFL player protesting police brutality and systemic racism over the past few years.

The NFL has recently displayed increased awareness about the issues of systemic racism, with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (pictured) admitting the league was wrong in how it approached NFL player protesting police brutality and systemic racism over the past few years.

The decision comes as the league hopes to demonstrate ‘a genuine commitment to the public, players and coaches and that player voices continue to be heard,’ the source wrote in a text message.

‘This is key to educating fans, and becoming a prominent voice in the fight to end racism.’  

The NFL has recently displayed increased awareness about the issues of systemic racism, with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitting the league was wrong in how it approached NFL player protesting police brutality and systemic racism over the past few years. 

In the 1 minute, 21 second video uploaded to Goodell's Twitter account last month, the NFL commissioner condemned racism, pledging his allegiance to equal justice for players and affirming that Black lives do matter.

In the 1 minute, 21 second video uploaded to Goodell’s Twitter account last month, the NFL commissioner condemned racism, pledging his allegiance to equal justice for players and affirming that Black lives do matter.

Pictured, quarterback for the Houston Texans Deshaun Watson in his uniform during a previous NFL game

Pictured, quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes II in his uniform during a previous NFL game

Goodell released the video as a response to requests made by more than a dozen star players, quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes II (right) and Deshaun Watson (left)

In 2016, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, along with other NFL players, began kneeling during the national anthem to raise awareness of racial injustices

In 2016, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, along with other NFL players, began kneeling during the national anthem to raise awareness of racial injustices

The demonstrations ignited national debate, with NFL owners taking side of those who thought players should stand during the anthem because it was considered disrespectful and unpatriotic

The demonstrations ignited national debate, with NFL owners taking side of those who thought players should stand during the anthem because it was considered disrespectful and unpatriotic

How did the ‘Black National Anthem’ originate? 

Written as a poem by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson in 1900, ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ is often referred to as the ‘Black National Anthem.’  

Johnson’s brother, John Rosamond Johnson (1873-1954), composed the music for the lyrics, according to the NCAA. 

While James Weldon Johnson was principal at the segregated Stanton School, a choir of 500 schoolchildren first performed the song in public in Jacksonville, Florida to celebrate President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

At the turn of the 20th century, Johnson’s lyrics eloquently captured the solemn yet hopeful appeal for the liberty of Black Americans. 

Set against the religious invocation of God and the promise of freedom, the song was later adopted by NAACP and prominently used as a rallying cry during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

 

In the 1 minute, 21 second video uploaded to Goodell’s Twitter account last month, the NFL commissioner condemned racism, pledging his allegiance to equal justice for players and affirming that Black lives do matter. 

‘We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people,’ Goodell said. 

‘We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all players to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe that black lives matter.’ 

Goodell continued by saying he would begin connecting with players who are making their voices heard adding: ‘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.’ 

Goodell released the video as a response to requests made by more than a dozen star players, quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes Deshaun Watson.

The league also revealed plans to increase its social justice footprint by pledging to donate $250 million over a 10-year period, ESPN reports. 

In 2016, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, along with other NFL players, began kneeling during the national anthem to raise awareness of racial injustices.

The demonstrations ignited national debate, with NFL owners taking side of those who thought players should stand during the anthem because it was considered disrespectful and unpatriotic. 

However, the players continually insisted kneeling wasn’t about the American flag, nor a symbol of their patriotism.   

Kaepernick was released from the 49ers in 2016, settling a collusion claim with the NFL in 2019.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk