The NFL will play "Lift Every Voice And Sing," also known as the Black national anthem, before games during the opening week of the 2020 NFL season, according to multiple reports.
ESPN and USA TODAY, citing sources said the anthem would be played before "The Star-Spangled Banner" for every Week 1 game and will be televised. The season opens Sept. 10 with the Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs.
The league is also reportedly looking at other ways to recognize victims of police brutality in the 2020 season including decals on helmets and jerseys.
Commissioner Roger Goodell, following a request from players, admitted last month that the league was wrong for not listening to players in the past and encouraged them to peacefully speak out. He said the league condemned racism and said the NFL believes Black lives matter.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started a movement of kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to spark discussion about racial injustice. Several other players followed suit.
Kaepernick has not been on an NFL roster since that season and has accused the league of collusion against him. Goodell last month publicly encouraged teams to sign Kaepernick.
There have been worldwide protests over police brutality and racial injustice following the death of George Floyd. The Black man died May 25 after being seen on video with a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck for nearly eight minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and on the ground. Four officers have been charged.
Lift Every Voice And Sing lyrics
Lift ev'ry voice and sing
'Til earth and heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list'ning skies
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on 'til victory is won
Stony the road we trod
Bitter the chastening rod
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died
Yet with a steady beat
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered
Out from the gloomy past
'Til now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast
God of our weary years
God of our silent tears
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light
Keep us forever in the path, we pray
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee
Shadowed beneath Thy hand
May we forever stand
True to our God
True to our native land