NFL plans to play Black national anthem before Week 1 games

The news was first reported by The Undefeated, which is owned by ESPN.

According to the source, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” will be played before “The Star-Spangled Banner”. It will begin with the first national television game of the season, which will take place on September 10, when reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, welcome the Houston Texans.

The song will also be played throughout the series of these Sunday afternoon Week 1 matches, during Sunday Night Football and during the two ESPN matches on Monday evening, the source said.

In addition, the source indicates that the league works in collaboration with the players to recognize the victims of systemic racism throughout the season. Some of the points discussed with the players included the addition of names of victims on helmet or jersey decals, as well as educational programs and stories (such as additional public service announcements on victims and their families) .

“Lift Every Voice and Sing” was first written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson, according to the NAACP website. Johnson’s brother John Rosamond Johnson set the poem to music in 1899. It was first performed in 1900 by a choir at the Stanton School in Jacksonville, Florida – where James Weldon Johnson was principal – in the part of a celebration of former President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.


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