With the 2021 NFL season only about eight weeks away, fans should prepare to witness another round of virtue signaling and social justice messaging, according to a Wednesday report from Front Office Sports.
Sources told the outlet that the league is bringing back many of the race-oriented elements featured last season and is considering making the so-called black national anthem a “prominent part of all big league events.”
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” was played before Week 1 and the Super Bowl during the 2020 NFL season.
“They’re bringing back a lot of elements from last year,” the source told Front Office Sports.
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” will be played before the Sept. 9 NFL Kickoff game between the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium, according to the outlet.
Television viewers of the games can expect that they will hear both that song and “The Star-Spangled Banner” before broadcasts of major games such as opening night and the Super Bowl, the report said.
Furthermore, as part of its decade-long, $250 million commitment to help fight what it considers “systemic racism,” the NFL will “promote social justice via on-field signage, decals on player helmets, and in-stadium PSAs,” Front Office Sports reported.
The report said end zones will again include messages such as “End Racism” and “Inspire Change.”
The NFL and its teams allow players to carry out racial protest activities at the games, including kneeling when the national anthem is played — a divisive trend started by then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 and officially encouraged last season.
“We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a June 2020 video. “We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.
“I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much-needed change in this country.”
We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter. #InspireChange pic.twitter.com/ENWQP8A0sv
— NFL (@NFL) June 5, 2020
As part of its social justice promotion last year, players were able to emblazon their helmets with the names of people killed by police officers, such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and slogans such as “Black Lives Matter.”
“The league’s looking to bring back helmet messages this year, but the plan has not been finalized,” Front Office Sports reported.