The first NFL common 2021 season matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers opened up Thursday with “Raise Each Voice and Sing,” also called the black nationwide anthem.
The tune, carried out by singer Alicia Keys along with the traditionally black college Florida A&M Live performance Choir, was aired forward of the sport at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa as teammates locked arms on the sector. “The Star-Spangled Banner” was performed afterward.
“Tonight, the NFL because it did final yr will current ‘Raise Each Voice and Sing,’ also called the Black nationwide anthem,” NBC’s Mike Tirico stated throughout the broadcast Thursday. “And it’ll occur at a number of league occasions throughout the yr — the NFL persevering with the eye round social justice causes.”
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League executives first determined to play the tune, written in 1900 by civil rights activist James Weldon Johnson and celebrates the top of slavery, final yr forward of the primary 2020 season video games as racial justice protests responding to George Floyd’s loss of life continued to realize momentum and public assist from varied firms and organizations.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell additionally expressed assist for the Black Lives Matter motion on the time, with the league starting to change its posture towards athlete protests.
“We, the Nationwide Soccer League, imagine Black lives matter,” Goodell stated in a video message in June 2020. “With out Black gamers, there can be no Nationwide Soccer League, and the protests across the nation are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality, and oppression of Black gamers coaches, followers and employees.”
The league introduced this summer season that it might play the tune forward of every recreation this season and proceed with the presence of social justice messages on gamers’ helmets and on taking part in fields.