NFL says it will play Black national anthem at all games in 2021

U.S. & World

ATLANTA (NewsNation Now) — The NFL says it’s bringing back a lot of elements of social justice messages from last year, including on-field signage and decals on player helmets.

Also, the continuation of the Black national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at flagship events. They say they’re adding in-stadium PSAs as well this year.

The NFL says it is an effort to reinforce the league’s 10-year, $250 million commitment to combat systemic racism. Rapper Jay-Z and his Roc Nation label have been advising the league on its “Inspire Change” initiative since last year.

Black players make up nearly 60% of the league, according to 2019 figures. Last year, commissioner Roger Goodell publicly said the NFL can’t afford to ignore its players’ deep concerns about racial justice.

NewsNationNow.com spoke with an NFL representative who told us the league is still finalizing things for this season. But the news is getting backlash from some fans who would prefer the league not weigh in on social issues.

This renewed push comes five years after the initial frenzy from Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality against Black people, and many say the league’s actions still haven’t shown commitment to change.

“There’s no Black owners. There’s not a lot of Black general managers. The number of Black coaches have been going down, there’s not a lot of Black front office people within the NFL,” said Robert Littal, founder of Black Sports Online. 

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