In a performative gesture that does nothing to discourage police from killing Black people, the National Football League has decided to jump on the feel-good Black-ally bandwagon and play “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” (aka. the Black National Anthem) at the start of every week one game when the season opens on September 10.
The song, which was written in 1900 and set to music in 1905, will reportedly play before the usual national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”, and will be presumably be all but forgotten by the NFL after one week.
Predictably, conservatives on social media are using the hashtag #BoycottNFL to express their displeasure:
How many national anthems do we have??
Is there an Hispanic national anthem?
An Asian-American national anthem?
This is asinine. We are ONE America. E Pluribus Unum. https://t.co/nv0djWREnH
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 3, 2020
Everyone should take a knee during the Black National Anthem
We have a National anthem, it’s for the entire nation. Why are they trying to bring back segregation? So RACIST
Martin Luther King Jr
DID NOT MARCH FOR A BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM.
— Terrence K. Williams (@w_terrence) July 3, 2020
NFL players make millions a year playing a game. Don’t lecture us about how evil America is. #BoycottNFL
— JT Lewis (@thejtlewis) July 3, 2020
The NFL needs fans more than we need the NFL.
If they kneel during the anthem, or play anything other than the actual National Anthem, we should not tune in.
It’s time to teach these overpaid athletes that they can’t bully the American people! #BoycottNFL
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) July 3, 2020
If you wanna lose fans in Pittsburgh, and Wisconsin, and Texas, and Florida, in the Carolinas, and anywhere people have a brain… if you want to destroy pro football… then go ahead and NFL slit your own throat. Have fun without us! #NFL https://t.co/uxa97cHfOX
— Graham Ledger (@GrahamLedger) July 3, 2020
There are an equal number of other Twitter users mocking such “fans” for turning their backs on the league at a moment’s notice. But as Black writer Panama Jackson at The Root points out, the playing of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” could backfire if cameras capture scores of NFL fans turning their backs as the anthem plays. However, perhaps that would show the NFL just how widespread racism among its fandom really is, despite 70 percent of its player being Black.
Beyond the playing of the Black National Anthem, ESPN explains, the NFL has other plans to make symbolic gestures against anti-Black police violence, though none (except for the final one mentioned below) are sure things:
Having recently displayed increased awareness about the problems of systemic racism, the NFL, in collaboration with the NFL Players Association, is also considering listing the names of victims on uniforms through decals on helmets or patches on jerseys. The NFL also may produce educational programs about victims, among other plans…. [like] plans to increase its social justice footprint by pledging to donate $250 million over a 10-year period.
In other race-related NFL news, this week the NFL said it will finally conduct a “thorough study” on possibly renaming the Washington state football team whose name is an old-timey slur for Native Americans.
In early June, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the NFL was wrong to ban players from protesting anti-black policing in America. However, his apology didn’t name Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL player whose 2017 on-field kneeling protest compelled the NFL on May 23, 2018 to threaten fines against any players who didn’t stand or stay hidden during the national anthem.
The national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” as Teen Vogue reminds us, was written by a slave-owning Washington lawyer, Francis Scott Key, who referred to African-Americans as “a distinct and inferior race of people.”
Trump pal stunned by president’s trainwreck interview with Axios: I cringed, I despaired and then I felt angry
In an op-ed published at The Daily Mail this Tuesday, Piers Morgan gave his thoughts on President Trump's recent interview with Axios, saying it was a moment where the whole world could finally see the true character of Trump.
"For President Donald J. Trump, there have been many grim moments during his catastrophic handling of the coronavirus pandemic that may end up defining his presidency," Morgan wrote.
Neighbors accuse Black woman of ‘driving down’ property values with Black Lives Matter sign
A Black woman in New York said that she was accused of "driving down" property values because a sign supporting Black Lives Matter was displayed in the window of her home.
The story was shared by Twitter user @pivyak, who said the incident occurred in Oswego after her sister painted a sign in the home's front window. The sign reads, "Silence supports police violence."
In an anonymous letter, self-described "neighbors" complained that they could not sell their homes for the "best price" because of the sign.
"We believe you've made your point," the letter states. "As tensions rise in our city, home is the safe and quiet place we wanted to return to after being at work. We want to come home to a beautiful street where neighbors care and support one another."
‘Worst pain I’ve ever felt’: Diner employees in shock after getting maced by angry anti-masker
Three employees at a Missouri pizza diner got maced earlier this week by a customer who was angry that they were asked to wear a face mask as a precondition of being served.
Local news station KMOV reports that a group of maskless people went into the Incredible Pizza Company in South St. Louis County on Sunday, where they were asked to leave because of their refusal to wear masks.