In an effort to promote social justice, the NFL has announced that the Black National Anthem, or “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” will be played before every game during the 2021-2022 season.
How will equality be achieved by implementing something that is specific to a certain race?
The National Anthem is an anthem that represents every man, woman and child in the United States of America, regardless of race.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking: Slavery happened, and it was horrible.
I agree, slavery is a dark stain on the history of our country, but slavery, along with every racist law that was passed decades ago, has been completely erased from modern American society.
Implementing songs like the Black National Anthem into professional sports and subjecting millions of Americans, young and old, to it will certainly not help to bring about more equality or unification. I mean, how could it? It says in its name that it’s strictly for Black people.
If there were such a thing as the white National Anthem, the last thing the NFL would do is play it before every game. I’m fine with that because there’s no reason to play songs of unity that unify one group of people, especially when there is already a song that serves to unite every person who calls America home.
Imagine all the kids throughout the stadium listening to the National Anthem and the Black National Anthem. It’s safe to say they’re going to have questions about what the Black National Anthem is because it isn’t the National Anthem. It’s different. Messages of equality cannot be conveyed through things that are race-specific. They should focus on how we as people are all the same in the sense that we all deserve the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. By the NFL’s logic, an anthem for every race should be played before every game if the National Anthem doesn’t suffice.
That’s the thing though. It does suffice.
It’s been said that the National Anthem doesn’t represent Black people because the people who wrote it were racist slave owners, but that’s silly.
Slavery isn’t exclusive to America. It has been around for thousands of years and took place all over the world. It has been abolished completely in America, but not everywhere. This is why it doesn’t make sense to continue trying to rectify it as if it is something that evil white men from America created in the 1600s.
This is an ill-advised decision by the NFL.
What I think will happen is the NFL will suffer a drop in ratings and some fans will decide to stop attending games.
What I know will happen is that race relations in America—which simply aren’t as bad as mainstream media would have you believe—will not be affected at all by this decision.
Written by Zach Edmondson, sports editor. Graphic courtesy of Gracie Lucas, former digital content editor.