The National Football League (NFL) chose to play “Lift Every Voice and Sing” before the start of every Week 1 game this season after finally admitting this summer that it had mishandled player protests during the national anthem. The song’s historical significance to Black culture in the United States has led to it being called the Black national anthem.
NFL’s Proposed Policy on the National Anthem
The NFL’s proposed policy on the national anthem has been met with a wide range of reactions. Some have argued that the NFL is overreacting by having both national anthems played at games in response to criticism that it has stifled protests in the past. Others feel the NFL isn’t doing enough to back the Black Lives Matter movement, which was mostly ignored by corporate America until it was politically expedient to embrace it.
However, for the many Americans who are unfamiliar with the Black national anthem and its history, its performance should serve as a teaching experience. To add to the conversation between sports and social justice problems, it is likely to be broadcast at subsequent Thursday and Sunday night games.
Poetry composed by Francis Scott Key after witnessing the destruction of Fort McHenry by British ships in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Seeing the American flag, with its 15 stars and 15 stripes, flying high and proud after a win was a major source of motivation. The banner’s name was the Star-Spangled Banner.
When did it Become Official That “The Star-Spangled Banner” would Represent the United States?
An official status for the Star-Spangled Banner in the United States has been established. Navy in 1916 under President Woodrow Wilson. In 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional resolution designating “Star Spangled Banner” as the national anthem of the United States.
Before 1931, What was the Official US National Anthem?
The Star-Spangled Banner wasn’t adopted as the official national anthem of the United States until 1931. Before that, other songs like “America the Beautiful,” “Hail, Columbia,” and “My Country, Tis of Thee” were sung to show patriotism.
The National Anthem is Traditionally Sung Before Athletic Events, But Why is This?
Thousands of sporting events each year feature a performance or rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” including everything from youth soccer games to college basketball games and, of course, NFL games. Since the inaugural Super Bowl game in 1967, the song has been played, and it will continue to be played for many more years to come.
A nation of African Americans does not exist; rather, they are just one American demographic, along with whites, Latinos, males, women, Christians, Jews, Muslims, the young, the old, the wealthy, and the poor. Shouldn’t each of these have their own anthem? Only 12% of Americans are black, while 19% are Latino. Do they need a theme song as well? We shouldn’t be able to disagree on the national anthem. The event should be welcoming to all and patriotic. No other country that I’m aware of conducts things differently.
When some Black athletes and their white teammates protest racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem, they are misdirecting their emotions in the wrong direction. How could they possibly be unaware that both white and black Union soldiers carried the “Stars and Stripes” into battle during our Civil War to fight slavery? In retrospect, Abraham Lincoln was unable to alter anything. He altered the current state of affairs and set the stage for a more favourable future. It worked out to be a better one overall, even for people of colour.