Ted Cruz calls report of NFL playing black national anthem 'asinine'

Ted Cruz calls report of NFL playing black national anthem 'asinine'

The NFL will play "Lift Every Voice and Sing", a song often referred to as the Black national anthem, prior to the kickoff of Week 1 games, a source familiar with the league's discussions told Reuters on Thursday.

ESPN and the Associated Press both cited unnamed sources reporting Thursday that "Lift Every Voice and Sing" would be either played or performed prior to the national anthem during the NFL's week one games, beginning with the September 10 season opener.

The league and the NFL Players Association are also contemplating listing the names of victims on uniforms through decals on helmets or patches on jerseys, ESPN reported.

On June 5, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league had been wrong in the past in how it approached peaceful protests of police brutality by its players, particularly on kneeling during the national anthem in the 2017 season.

The song, written by James Weldon Johnson and his brother J. Rosamond Johnson in the early 1900s, will precede the traditional pre-game playing of the "Star-Spangled Banner", the official national anthem.

"How many national anthems do we have??"

He added he would reach out to players and others on how the league can "improve and go forward for a better and more united NFL family".

"We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to National Football League players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest".

The NFL announced last month it is committing $250 million over 10 years to social justice initiatives, targeting what it calls "systemic racism" and supporting "the battle against the ongoing and historic injustices faced by African Americans". "And the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of Black players, coaches, fans and staff".