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NFL To Play ‘Black National Anthem’ Before Season Openers: Report

Weeks after commissioner Roger Goodell joined the players and said the NFL would listen and act, the NFL is about to announce a new policy.

The league plans to honor victims of systemic racism with a number of in-game programs including the singing on the “Black National Anthem” before the season openers.

From USA Today:  Starting with the nationally televised regular-season opener between the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 10, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as the Black national anthem, will be performed before every Week 1 kickoff, before “The Star-Spangled Banner,” according to a person familiar with ongoing discussions.

The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because plans have not yet been finalized and announced by NFL officials.

Both anthems will be televised Sunday afternoon, and on “Sunday Night Football” and “Monday Night Football” contests as well. ESPN’s “Undefeated” first reported news of these plans.

The person said after brainstorming with numerous players and the NFL Players Association, NFL officials also plan to honor victims of police brutality through elements such as helmet decals or jerseys. It’s also expected that the Week 1 broadcasts will feature a number of educational PSAs about victims and their families.

From NBC Sports:

Some players, as well as Texans coach Bill O’Brien, already have committed to kneeling for the national anthem.

The NFL is considering other measures to recognize victims of police brutality during the upcoming season, per Reid. The proposals include listing the names of victims on uniforms through helmet decals or jersey patches, an idea that would come in collaboration with the NFL Players Association.

The NFL also may produce educational programs about victims, Reid adds.

The league hopes it demonstrates “a genuine commitment to the public, players and coaches and that player voices continue to be heard,” according to Reid’s source.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted in a video last month that the league was wrong for not listening to its players earlier and pledged allegiance in their battle for social justice.

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