In the past, the National Football League (NFL) featured “Lift Every Voice And Sing,” which is commonly known as the “black national anthem,” at the first week of the 2020 season but now the League is planning to feature the song as “a prominent part of all big-league events,” including events such as the Super Bowl, NFL Playoffs, NFL Draft, and NFL Kickoff game, as reported by Front Office Sports.
Recently, the NFL already spotlighted Alicia Keys and the Cleveland All-City Choir performing a rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” before Super Bowl LV and once again before the start of 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,” stated Front Office Sports before going on to add, “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” reads, “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.”
As of yet, the NFL has not announced the total amount of its contributions to “social justice causes” that has made its way to Black Lives Matter. Back in Jully of 2020, The Dispatch stated:
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,” noted Front Office Sports, going on to add that “‘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.”