Report: NFL To Play The Black National Anthem Before Games This Season. Here’s What We Know

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Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
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The National Football League will reportedly play the black national anthem before season opener games in the fall.

The song, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as the “black national anthem ” will be sung in every stadium ahead of “The Star Spangled Banner,” Jason Reid of ESPN reports, per in a piece published Thursday. (RELATED: Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio Says He Doesn’t ‘See Racism At All In The NFL’)

Adopted by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the early 1900’s as the organization’s official song, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” was originally written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson, according to the Washington Post. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)

James would later give it to his brother, John Rosamond Johnson, to put the words to music, per an account about Johnson’s poem highlighted in “Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora,” by Shana L. Redmond.

According to the NAACP website:

It was first performed in public in the Johnsons’ hometown of Jacksonville, Florida as part of a celebration of Lincoln’s Birthday on February 12, 1900 by a choir of 500 schoolchildren at the segregated Stanton School, where James Weldon Johnson was principal. (Scroll for more about Johnson below.)

The song, at one point, was performed in churches, at school assemblies and at graduation ceremonies. The lyrics to the song can be read here.

The report goes on to note that other measures are being considered by the NFL to “recognize victims of police brutality.”

According to Reid:

The proposals include listing the names of victims on uniforms through helmet decals or jersey patches, an idea that would come in collaboration with the NFL Players Association.

The NFL also may produce educational programs about victims, Reid adds.

A few years ago, Beyonce made headlines when she performed the song at the Coachella music festival.

Take a listen.