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CBS Sports:

“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” a song also known as the Black national anthem, will be performed live or played prior to “The Star Spangled Banner” at each of the NFL’s Week 1 games in 2020, according to the Associated Press, which adds that the league is also considering memorializing victims of police brutality with helmet decals or jersey patches. These moves are seen as part of the league’s collaborative work with its players to raise awareness of systemic racism and police brutality. 

Following the nationwide protests that sprung up in the wake of George Floyd’s killing at the hands of the Minneapolis police, several NFL players, including Patrick MahomesDeshaun WatsonMichael ThomasOdell Beckham, and Ezekiel Elliott, released a video requesting that the league acknowledge the issues faced by Black people, that it had erred in silencing players who spoke out on those issues in the past, and that Black lives matter. Commissioner Roger Goodell released a video of his own the next day, acceding to each of those requests. Mahomes called Goodell’s video a good first step, but acknowledged that the players want to make sure it leads to action. 

The league later recognized Juneteenth as an official holiday, pledged to donate $250 million over the next 10 years to fight systemic racism, and pledged to “reach out” to players who have “raised their voices” on issues of racial inequality. Now, it has committed to spotlighting another part of Black history. …”


“(CNN)NFL players may see another head coach kneeling on the sidelines when the National Anthem is played before games this season — should it happen, of course, given the state of the coronavirus pandemic.Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said in a video conference with reporters on Thursday that he is considering joining his players and taking a knee.

“I would consider anything as we move forward,” Rhule said. “I’m supportive of the cause. I’m supportive of the movement. I’m supportive of social justice. I think for every person, coach or player that will be a very personal decision. I think it has to be made at the right time and the right reason for everybody.” …”

CBS News:

“The NBA is planning on painting “Black Lives Matter” on courts when the season restarts in late July, ESPN reported Monday. The league and the players’ union, the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), reportedly agreed on highlighting the movement at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. 

The death of George Floyd has pushed Black Lives Matter to the forefront, inspiring protests that included some current players. As NBA leadership and its players were in discussions to return playing, some stars brought up the possibility of not playing to retain the focus on social justice issues. Now, according to the report, the NBA will use the hardwood to keep the spotlight on the movement.

“Black Lives Matter” would be painted on the court inside both sidelines in all three arenas, ESPN reported.  The WNBA is also in discussions to do the same when they begin their shortened season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. …”

Professional sports is the modern day equivalent of antebellum religion. It is one of the few unifying threads left in this country and even that is about to snap.


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