The NFL season is back, beginning with the Dallas Cowboys going against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last night. It also was the introduction of the league’s dual anthem approach, which some people weren’t happy about. One of those people is Megyn Kelly, who slammed the NFL for playing the Black national anthem.
Kicking off the “Real Talk” segment on her SiriusXM podcast, Kelly talks about her thoughts on the Black national anthem being included in sports. “I don’t think people want politics in their sports. I think that’s why the NBA has taken such a hit and learned from its prior experience. The NFL doesn’t seem to be learning quite as quickly.”
In the summer, the NFL announced it would play the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” before each 2021-22 season game. This is part of its $250 million investment in social justice initiatives. Megyn Kelly claims we’re “one country” and don’t need two anthems.
“I don’t think that the average American – Black or white – wants to hear the Black national anthem before they hear the national anthem…and it’s no offense against people of color, we’re one country. We don’t need separate anthems.”
Finally, Kelly states there’s a time and a place for messages such as this and says some people use sports as an escape. “It’s a chance to come together. Celebrate America… and then play a sports game. And not to shove politics or divisive cultural issues down the throats of the viewers who are looking for a getaway.”
NFL States Players May Wear Certain Social Justice Phrases On Their Helmets
Playing the Black national anthem before each game is a part of the NFL’s Change initiative. Earlier this year, the league also gave players permission to wear certain social justice phrases on their helmets.
Offering six different phrases, players may opt to have “Say Their Stories,” “End Racism,” “It Takes All of Us,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Inspire Change,” and “Stop Hate” on their helmets. Additionally, teams may emblazon “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism” into their endzones.
Anna Isaacson, the NFL senior vice president of social responsibility, reports they are committed to inspiring change and social justice work for the long term. As such, they will also dedicate Weeks 17 and 18 to the “Say Their Stories” campaign. This will focus on social justice heroes that players have personally identified with and the players’ impact on their lives.
“That will provide a unified time frame for us to further amplify all of the work that our clubs are doing and that will lead into the playoffs where Inspire Change will continue to take center stage,” Isaacson explained. “The key message for us as the season is starting, we are ramping up again in a big way with our social justice work.”
Furthermore, the NFL reported wanting the Black national anthem to be a “prominent part of big-league events.”