The Black National Anthem Will Play in N.F.L. Pre-Game Ceremonies

In Thursday night time’s season opener, gamers stood on the sphere at Raymond James Stadium with their arms intertwined as Alicia Keys and the Florida A&M choir carried out “Lift Every Voice and Sing” earlier than the sport’s begin.

The N.F.L. started airing the tune, also referred to as the Black nationwide anthem, as a part of its TV broadcasts earlier than video games following the worldwide racial justice protests held after the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. It additionally included a efficiency of the tune earlier than the draft in April.

The league will proceed to incorporate the tune’s efficiency in its pregame ceremonies as a part of its continued social justice efforts.

“Lift Every Voice and Sing,” written over 120 years in the past by N.A.A.C.P. chief James Weldon Johnson, captures in its lyrics the solemn hope for the freedom of African Americans, which learn in half:

“Sing a tune stuffed with the religion that the darkish previous has taught us.

Sing a tune stuffed with the hope that the current has introduced us.

Facing the rising solar of our new day begun,

Let us march on ’til victory is gained.”

Along with taking part in the tune earlier than its video games, the N.F.L. will even permit gamers to put on helmet decals with certainly one of six accredited social justice messages. The league will once more show the slogans “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism” on finish zones in solidarity with social justice actions in opposition to racism and police brutality.