NFL plans to play Black national anthem before Week 1 games

Tanya Simon
July 3, 2020

The NFL will play "Lift Ev'ry Voice", known colloquially as the Black national anthem, before every game during the opening week of this coming season.

The NFL's anticipated first game of the coming season arrives September 10, pitting the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs at home against the Houston Texans. It will also play during the full slate of Sunday afternoon games, Sunday Night Football and the two ESPN Monday night games.

When the National Football League returns to play games, whether on time or later on for their first game during the 2020 season, there will be a new pre-game routine.

These measures come after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell seemed to signal a shift in how the league acknowledged such things when he said the league was wrong for not listening to past player protests.

Source - NFL plans to play Black national anthem before Week 1 games

The person said after brainstorming with numerous players and the NFL Players Association, NFL officials also plan to honor victims of police brutality through elements such as helmet decals or jerseys.

Though the protest waned in the past few seasons, the renewed focus on social issues and systemic racism after the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery among countless other Black victims of police brutality have led many players to hint they'll be kneeling during the National Anthem this season.

Also in June, the league revealed plans to increase its social justice footprint by pledging to donate $250 million over a 10-year period.

It was originally written as a poem by African-American civil rights leader James Weldon Johnson in 1899 - and later set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson.

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