The NFL Is Back. So Is the National Anthem Controversy. And Now There Are Two Anthems.
Unhappy with what they call “empty gestures” the Miami Dolphins say they will skip the pre-game “song and dance” that the National Football League plans to perform in front of largely empty stadiums this weekend.
In addition to the traditional playing of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” the NFL plans to play “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing” before Sunday’s games. The latter song has a long history as a rallying cry for civil rights and has been dubbed the “black national anthem.” The league is playing it before games this week in an attempt to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement and to make a statement about racial injustice.
But, in a video posted to Twitter on Thursday, more than a dozen Dolphins’ players say the whole team plans to skip the pre-game ritual.
“We need changed hearts, not just a response to pressure. Enough, no more fluff and empty gestures,” the players say in the video statement. “We need owners with influence and pockets bigger than ours to call-up officials and flex political power.”
BREAKING NEWS: The@MiamiDolphins players will stay inside for both national anthems. They express their discontentment with what they call “fluff and empty gestures” by the @NFL pic.twitter.com/ghUktHhPt9
— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) September 10, 2020
The video statement indicates how far things have shifted in just a few months. We’ve been watching the mostly silly debate over whether players should stand or kneel for the national anthem since 2016, when Colin Kaepernick, the then-quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, variously sat or kneeled during the pre-game playing of the national anthem that season. After this summer’s protests connected to the police killings of George Floyd, Breanna Taylor, and others, however, the te
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