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Black NFL fans were surprised after the NFL announced it would play the national Black anthem "Lift Every Voice and Sing" before the "Star Spangled Banner."

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the hymn became recognized as the national Black anthem in 1920. But it was popularized by AARP singer Beyonce who performed it at Coachella in 2018.

Chris Conley of the Jacksonville Jaguars took to Twitter to explain the song is a rallying cry for Blacks from the Jim Crow era.

"For those who aren't familiar with it, this song seeks to remind us of our past as a country and to strive to be better. It speaks to all of us not just black people even tho it became a rallying cry for blacks in the Jim Crow era. It is a beautiful message birthed from pain.

"The league taking the oppurtunity [sic] to play "Lift every voice and sing" (the black national anthem) is sweet. It's a great way to honor those who started this movement year and years ago."

But not everyone sees the need for the NFL to play 2 national anthems before every game.

Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino tweeted: "There are many great songs, which mean a lot, to a lot of people, but there is ONLY one National Anthem. The division must stop if there’s any hope for us."

And Texas Senator Ted Cruz called the NFL's plan "asinine," saying "How many national anthems do we have?" and "Is there an Hispanic national anthem?", "An Asian-American national anthem?"

 

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