The NFL is expected to play “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing,” traditionally known as the Black national anthem, before every Week 1 game, sources have told ESPN. The song will either be performed or played before the “The Star-Spangled Banner”. The NFL’s season opener is scheduled for Sept. 10, with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans.
The decision is the next step in what NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell claims is a concerted effort for the league to address racial injustice and police brutality towards Black people in the United States. Goodell admitted in a video released in early June that the league had fallen short in addressing such issues in the past, and went so far as to encourage NFL players to peacefully protest. A handful of players, both Black and White, have already said they will kneel during the Star-Spangled Banner this season.
Via ESPN, “the league hopes its efforts 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.’