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.”
Rick Wilson urges ‘humiliation and incarceration’ for the GOP’s ‘grubby sellouts’ who propped up Trump for 4 years
Republicans know the end of Donald Trump's presidency is near, despite his increasingly desperate legal challenges, and former GOP strategist Rick Wilson won't be willing to forgive and forget.
Wilson, writing for The Daily Beast, imagines there will be a rush of Republicans to distance themselves from the soon-to-be-former president, but he said there will be copious evidence of lawmakers, governors and political professional debasing themselves for Trump.
Expert breaks down the ultimate goal of Trump’s ‘classic Russian-style disinformation campaign’
Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, spoke with CNN's Brian Stelter on Sunday to explain the ultimate goal of President Donald Trump's false accusations of a rigged and stolen election.
Rauch was asked by Stelter if the issue is Trump is simply trapped in the delusion that he actually beat President-elect Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
"Is delusion a fair word for these election lies?" Stelter wondered.
"No, actually, I don't think it is," Rauch replied. "It's hard to know what's going on in the mind of the president, but you don't really need to. What you need to know is that what he is running right now is a classic Russian-style disinformation campaign of a type known as the firehose of falsehood. That's when you utilize every channel, not just media, but also the bully pulpit, even litigation to push out as many different stories and conspiracy theories and lies and half-truths as you possibly can in order to flood the zone if with disinformation."
GOP congressman gets #StopTheStupid trending big-time against Donald Trump — but there’s a catch
The hashtag #stopthestupid was trending last night on Twitter thanks to -- of all people -- a conservative Republican congressman from Michigan named Paul Mitchell. But before anyone gets too excited that Republicans are discovering integrity, there’s an asterisk: Mitchell is retiring in January.
Here’s what the exasperated congressman tweeted Sunday night in response to Trump’s lunatic ranting about the election outcome:
Sunday night, there were more than 21,000 tweets featuring #stopthestupid, many of them wondering aloud why more Republicans cannot show the spine and integrity displayed by Mitchell. Most presumably don’t realize, however, that he’s leaving Congress after just two terms in office.