The NFL is coming under fire after confirming the black national anthem, ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ will be performed for the fourth year in a row, before this year’s Super Bowl by singer Andra Day.
Named the ‘Negro National Anthem’ by the NAACP in 1919, the song references slavery and the hope for liberation. It was later adopted as a rallying cry during the Civil Rights movement, according to the NAACP.
The song was first played before NFL games in 2021, and has also been performed at the last two Super Bowls.
But the performances have been criticized for dividing audiences instead of unifying the country with a great deal of outrage on social media.
Andra Day will perform ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ at this year’s Super Bowl next month
The song was performed by Sheryl Lee Ralph last year ahead of the Chiefs win over the Eagles
Gospel duo Mary Mary sang Lift Every Voice and Sing ahead of the 2022 Super Bowl. However, unlike Ralph, they performed outside the stadium and the performance was pre-recorded
Artist Alicia Keys became the first to sing the anthem before the Super Bowl in 2021
‘Bro, we’re American. Why tf do we need Lift Every Voice and Sing?’ asked one irked NFL fan in response to the NFL’s announcement.
Conservative commentator Charlie Kirk also blasted the decision online.
‘The NFL has announced that the so-called ‘Black National Anthem’ will be performed at the Super Bowl. Of course, in reality, the black national anthem is performed at every Super Bowl, because The Star-Spangled Banner is the anthem of ALL Americans. The effort to create a ‘black national anthem,’ and a ‘black Independence Day’ in Juneteenth, is part of a wider project to divide Americans up by race,’ Kirk wrote on X.
‘The NFL is evidently continuing to perpetuate antiwhiteism and division during this year’s Super Bowl. If that’s what you support then enjoy watching. I certainly won’t,’ tweeted Paul A. Szypula.
‘Fans have only themselves to blame. An organized boycott will stop this nonsense within a few short weeks. Instead of moaning about it, use your reach to organize a boycott and explain to the NFL what it has to do to get its audience back,’ stated Biff Gruffly.
‘And once again, one of the many reasons, I no longer watch the NFL, or am even interested. I am not the audience they are pandering to. I believe in unity and the NFL is not the for the same thing,’ added Benjamin Hinson.
‘I’m probably done with the NFL. We have a National Anthem that represents us as the great American melting pot. To take that and now create an anthem for one single racial group is a slap in the face of every other ethnicity and to our country,’ stated another.
Many X users were not happy at the NFL’s decision to have a separate ‘Black National Anthem’
Some have argued how singing the anthem is a positive gesture that acknowledges the suffering of black Americans – and a step towards healing the county’s racial division.
‘I’ve never been moved at a performance of the Star Spangled Banner. I am always moved by Lift Every Voice and Sing. White people threatened by the “Black National Anthem” after 100 years and plenty of institutional performances in that time need to sit down. It’ll be okay,’ tweeted Erinn O’Dear.
Last year, the song was performed at the Super Bowl by Sheryl Lee Ralph, while Mary Mary sung it in 2022.
The song was originally a poem written by James Weldon Johnson, a former NAACP leader.
Its lyrics describe the struggles and aspirations of black Americans at the turn of the 20th century.
The NFL began playing the song before NFL games in the 2020 season following the protests that came in the wake of the killings at the hands of the police of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert said on Twitter: ‘America only has ONE NATIONAL ANTHEM’
Lavern Spicer, who ran as a Republican candidate for election to the House in Florida in 2022, expressed the idea that there should only be one national anthem for all Americans
Darrell B. Harrison said the NFL was making a mistake by allowing the anthem to be sung, also suggesting that it made America a nation of two anthems’
Luke Zaleski, Legal Affairs Editor for Condé Nast accused Boebert of hypocrisy
Conservative blogger and filmmaker Matt Walsh slammed the NFL’s Black National Anthem as ‘an utter disgrace’
Conservative commentator Charlie Kirk slammed the performance, as he joined a chorus of critics who felt there shouldn’t be a ‘black national anthem’
Last year there were also mixed reactions to the singing of the song at the most-watched sporting event of the year.
Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert said on X: ‘America only has ONE NATIONAL ANTHEM.’
Her critics attacked her, however, suggesting that her tweet sowed more division than the inclusion of the anthem. Luke Zaleski, Legal Affairs Editor for Condé Nast accused the politician of hypocrisy.
‘The gaslighting is the fact that she’s using the concept of unity to divide. She’s doing what she’s accusing the NFL of. It’s a fake grievance contrived to irk and produce the effect of further fracturing society,’ he wrote.
Social media personality Brian Krassentein attacked those who objected to the singing of the anthem. ‘If you have a problem with the Black National Anthem then you are one of the reasons it’s being sung,’ he wrote.
Lavern Spicer, who ran as a Republican candidate for election to the House in Florida in 2022, expressed the idea that there should only be one national anthem for all Americans.
‘The Black National Anthem is the Star Spangled Banner. The White National Anthem is the Star Spangled Banner. The Mixed National Anthem is the Star Spangled Banner,’ she wrote.
Darrell B. Harrison, a Bible teacher who is black, said the NFL was making a mistake by allowing the anthem to be sung, also suggesting that it made America a nation of two anthems’.
Among the other pregame entertainers for this year’s big game on February 11 are Reba McEntire and Post Malone.
McEntire will perform the American national anthem, the ‘Star-Spangled Banner,’ while Malone will sing ‘America the Beautiful.’
Usher was previously announced as the main halftime act at Allegiant Stadium.