NFL Planning to Play Black National Anthem Before All Week 1 Games


Four weeks after commissioner Roger Goodellvowed to listen to and work with players in their fight for racial equality,the NFL is in the process of solidifying plans to honor victims of systemic racism with a number of in-game programs during opening week of the 2020 season.

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.