The NFL is reportedly looking at doing away with live national anthem performances.
The league is looking to “limit the number of people on the sidelines during games in order to protect the players from being exposed to the virus,” according to a report published Monday by Front Office Sports. But is this just the NFL’s next step in simply doing away with the national anthem entirely?
The decision comes amid weeks of far-left radicals calling for the national anthem to be replaced over “blatantly racist” lyrics. Yahoo music editor, Lydnsey Parker, argued in a column that “It might be time to finally replace ‘The Star Spangled Banner’” because of its “blatantly racist” connotations, according to The Hill.
Parker attempted to support her radical claim by citing historians and activists who pointed to the national anthem’s composer, Francis Scott Key’s, ties to anti-abolitionists and an often-unsung third stanza about slaves. Human-rights activist Kevin Powell told Yahoo that Francis Scott Key, a lawyer who prosecuted abolitionists, “did not believe in freedom for all people.” “And yet, we celebrate him with this national anthem, every time we sing it,” Powell said.
BREAKING: NFL won't allow National Anthem singers on-field this year. ‘The Star-Spangled Banner' will still be played. But due to COVID-19 concerns, performers will have to pre-tape the anthem – or have their rendition piped in live from an outside venue. https://t.co/K1noWg81iw
— Michael McCarthy (@MMcCarthyREV) August 10, 2020
As sports season began to re-open over the last few weeks, sports teams and entire organizations have attempted to make a statement by linking arms, holding their fists up, or entirely kneels while the national anthem has been played. However, individual players and, even in some cases, the entire team have refused to kneel for the national anthem.
Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac became the first NBA player to stand for the National Anthem as the league resumed play after a 20-week hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, as previously reported by 100% FED Up. The 22-year-old forward was also the only player seen not wearing a “Black Lives Matter” shirt. Isaac could be seen wearing his Magic game jersey instead.
He explained his position on Friday ahead of the game versus the Brooklyn Nets, saying that he doesn’t think “putting that shirt on and kneeling went hand-in-hand with supporting Black lives,” according to CNN.
Players, coaches and refs all locked arms and knelt during the national anthem before the Magic-Nets game pic.twitter.com/W0KthTU99O
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 31, 2020
Currently, the national anthem will still be played before NFL games, but just not live in the stadium, according to the report. The performer will either sing the anthem in another location while it streams live into the stadium, or the artist will have the option to pre-record the performance. The number of photographers and press allowed on the sidelines during the games will also be limited, Front Office Sports reported.
The news comes as changes to the NFL season have already been announced. Some teams have seemingly decided fans will not be allowed in stadiums at all including the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles.
“Decisions on the number of fans at stadiums will be determined on market-by-market basis with guidance from public health experts & in accordance with local/state guidelines,” the NFL said in a statement to NBC Sports.