The new NFL season has begun and it is already getting political, with the Thursday game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Detroit Lions showing the league’s commitment to leftism and the furor of fans when faced with it.
This time, the leftism on display was a rendition of a song titled
“Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a song which is commonly referred to as the “Black National Anthem,” hence why it was played during the pregame ceremony.
The song has been played before NFL games since the 2020 death of George Floyd and the resultant focus on fighting “racism” in areas of life formerly left out of the culture war fights, or in which politics had been somewhat on the backburner.
Though fans stuck around for the game, many were obviously angry with the league for playing the song, leading to a chorus of booing from the gathered crowd. A video that emerged of the pregame ceremony showed that angry reaction to the song, with a chorus of booing pouring down on the field as Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes crossed the Arrowhead stadium field with “Lift Every Voice and Sing” playing.
Some on the left noticed the booing too, though they deprecated it rather than cheered it. One Twitter poster, for example, said, “Kansas City chiefs got done racist ass fans. They booed the Black National Anthem smh…👎🏾”
That, in turn, received the usual conservative response, which is that there should be one National Anthem that unites the country, rather than a panoply of ones that divide it based on race or ethnic makeup. “So when do the Hispanics, American Samoans, Indigenous people of multiple nations, and every other identity group get their anthem played? The song is a beautiful song and it has meaning, but this nation has ONE National Anthem,” that commenter said.
The NFL announced in 2020 that it would play “Lift Every Voice and Sing” before games, with the song being debuted during that year’s September 10th Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans game. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, at the time, said, “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.”
This year, however, the NFL removed its “End Racism” on-filed messaging, replacing the social justice messaging with “PLAY FOOTBALL” for the 2023 season, as could be seen on the field during the recent Chiefs game.