The N.F.L. will preserve enjoying the Black nationwide anthem earlier than video games. – The New York Instances

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In Thursday night’s season opener, gamers stood on the sphere at Raymond James Stadium with their arms intertwined as Alicia Keys and the Florida A&M choir carried out “Lift Every Voice and Sing” earlier than the sport’s begin.

The N.F.L. started airing the music, also referred to as the Black nationwide anthem, as a part of its TV broadcasts earlier than video games following the worldwide racial justice protests held after the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. It additionally included a efficiency of the music earlier than the draft in April.

The league will proceed to incorporate the music’s efficiency in its pregame ceremonies as a part of its continued social justice efforts.

“Lift Every Voice and Sing,” written over 120 years in the past by N.A.A.C.P. chief James Weldon Johnson, captures in its lyrics the solemn hope for the freedom of African Americans, which learn partly:

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us.

Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us.

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,

Let us march on ’til victory is won.”

Along with enjoying the music earlier than its video games, the N.F.L. will even permit gamers to put on helmet decals with one of six approved social justice messages. The league will once more show the slogans “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism” on finish zones in solidarity with social justice actions in opposition to racism and police brutality.


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