The National Football League will play the Black National Anthem before every game during the 2021-2021 season.
The NFL is taking steps to move forward to show that they strongly believe that Black Lives Matter. During the 2020 season, the NFL committed $250 million during a 10-year period to combat systemic racism. NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, took it a step farther by apologizing to Black players who spoke up during the tragic events involving Black Americans and sought justice.
“We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter. I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much needed change in this country. Without black players, there would be no National Football League. And the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality, and oppression of black players coaches, fans, and staff. We are listening, I am listening, and I will be reaching out to players who have raised their voices and others on how we can improve and go forward for a better and more united NFL family.”
We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter. #InspireChange pic.twitter.com/ENWQP8A0sv— NFL (@NFL) June 5, 2020
Opening the 2020-2021 season, the NFL used R&B superstar, Alicia Keys, to sing the Black national Anthem.
Now during the 2021-2022 season, the NFL will play the Black National Anthem before every game in the season. There is no official announcement by the NFL on their website, but the news is being reported by various reputable outlets such as Yahoo.
This past year the NFL has made great moves to prove to the general public that they were wrong for not getting involved in the Black Lives Matter movement when their very own players were. Now they are trying to do everything right, but not do the most noble thing that there is left to do… Address Colin Kaepernick in person, and on their very own platform to apologize.
During the 2016 season after viewing several Blacks fall victim to acts of violence by the police. Kaepernick began to protest by sitting down during the star-spangled banner. After the game a reporter asked Kaepernick why was he sitting down and he responded, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Each week afterwards, Kaepernick’s protest attracted more and more attention from the media. It also drew much criticism that eventually made him the most hated man in the NFL. Since 2016 and becoming a free agent, Kaepernick has yet to sign with a new team. Kaepernick has accused the league of colliding together to prevent him from ever playing in the league again.
In October 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL, and in February 2019 Kaepernick settled with the NFL for a confidential amount.
It has now been five-years since Kaepernick last played in the NFL. He now works as a civil rights activist, and has recently released a children’s book called, “I Color Myself Different.” All while the NFL is continuing the very same work that Kaepernick initially started and got him labeled as a troublemaker for doing.
According to Wikipedia, in 2019 the NFL had 58.9% majority Black players. “At the start of the 2014 season, NFL surveys revealed that the league was 68.7% African-American and 28.6% non-Hispanic white, with the remaining 2.7% comprising Asian/Pacific Islander, non-white Hispanics, and those preferring an other category. In the 21st century, the percentage of non-Hispanic white players has decreased slightly, falling from 29.0% in 2003 to 26.8% in 2019. The 2019 racial and gender report card included for the first time a two or more races option to which 9.6% of players reported themselves, thus resulting in a lower African American percentage at 58.9%.”
Now the NFL wants to play two separate national anthems to represent two different groups of people: the Black National Anthem to represent the Black majority of the players in the NFL. The United States National Anthem to represent “the rest” of the players in the NFL. What’s the next… A Hispanic National Anthem, Asian National Anthem or perhaps a LGBTQ National Anthem?
Instead of avoiding Kaepernick and not issuing an apology for their mistakes. Why not just bring Kaepernick back into the league to help him continue what he started and be the official spokesperson for the NFL’s fight against systemic racism? Wouldn’t that be much easier for the NFL to use to help unify fans, players, and staff under one song that we all can embrace as a community?