The National Football League (NFL), which featured “Lift Every Voice And Sing,” commonly known as the “black national anthem,” the first week of the 2020 season, is now planning to feature the song as “a prominent part of all big league events,” including the Super Bowl, NFL Playoffs, NFL Draft, and NFL Kickoff game, according to Front Office Sports.
The NFL already featured Alicia Keys and the Cleveland All-City Choir singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” before Super Bowl LV and even before the 2021 NFL Draft.
“Starting this May, the NFL began to highlight its quarter-billion-dollar social justice effort via an ‘Inspire Change’ content series,” Front Office Sports noted, adding, “The “Inspire Change Explainer Essay,” for example, takes viewers through the process of why the league and its players are addressing social injustice around the country.”
The “Inspire Change Explainer Essay” states, “The summer of 2020 changed all of us, including the NFL. The murder of George Floyd and the brutality experienced by so many people of color sparked an extraordinary movement across America. That summer, the NFL and its clubs committed $250 million over ten years to social justice causes.”
The NFL has not announced how much of its contributions to “social justice causes” has gone to Black Lives Matter. In July 2020, The Dispatch reported:
An article on NFL’s website said that before this latest pledge, the NFL had donated “$44 million to its social justice programs” which funded “20 national social justice grant partners and made matching contributions to 350 local grassroots organizations identified by players and former players.”
The article states that the NFL will work with players to find programs to support. While new partners have not yet been announced, leaving it possible that some of the $250 million will end up going to the Black Lives Matter Foundation or another BLM-affiliated organization, when asked if the whole of the fund would go to BLM, Brian McCarthy, the NFL’s vice president for communications, told The Dispatch Fact Check:“No that’s not accurate.”
“Average audiences fell 8% to 15.1 million viewers in 2020 as the league embraced social justice messaging on helmets, warm-up gear, fields, and stadiums … The NFL lost $4 billion last year,” Front Office Sports noted, adding, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” will be performed before the NFL Kickoff game between Tom Brady’s Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dak Prescott’s Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, Sept. 9.”
The Daily Wire reported in early June:
The league that prides itself on being the most “woke” in its alignment with social justice movements has just acknowledged allowing discrimination against its own players.
In the midst of a $1 billion settlement of past brain injury claims by former players, the NFL announced its intention to halt the use of so-called “race-norming,” a practice of adjusting test scores for race in which black players were assumed to have lower cognitive functioning than players of other races. The NFL has previously stated that the use of race-norms was optional, applied at the doctor’s discretion.
The settlement between the players and the NFL allows for retired players who were suffering from brain injuries sustained during their playing careers to be compensated by the league.