Believing that they understand the division that has rooted itself in America over the past year, the NFL announced they were going to be more socially conscious by making a peculiar commitment. Along with playing the Star-Spangled Banner, which honors all the men and women who have paid the ultimate price for freedom, the NFL decided to also play “Lift Every Voice and Sing” – the black national anthem. 


Again, as part of their social justice commitments, the NFL aired Alicia Keys’ performance of the song on Thursday, And while some might have simply not noticed, HBO’s Bill Maher took offense by what he saw. 

Speaking on the matter, Maher said, “I saw last night on the football game, Alicia Keys sang ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ which now I hear is called the black national anthem. Now, maybe we should get rid of our national anthem, but I think we should have one national anthem.” 

Maher added, “I think when you go down a road where you’re having two different national anthems, colleges sometimes now have — many of them have different graduation ceremonies for black and white, separate dorms — this is what I mean! Segregation! You’ve inverted the idea. We’re going back to that under a different name.”

Crafted from a poem by James Weldon Johnson, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was turned into a song and during the 1920s it was officially adopted by the NAACP as its national anthem. 

While known for his political commentary, Maher did admit that he has been recently targeting the left much more than the right. According to the host, this isn’t due to a grudge but is because the left is “embarrassing me. That’s why I’m going after the Left.”

As for the NFL, Front Office Sports reported the organization isn’t budging when it comes to the song. “The NFL also plans to make ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ — often referred to as the Black national anthem — a prominent part of all big league events.”


Even NBC’s Mike Tirico said during Thursday’s game, “Tonight, the NFL as it did last year will present ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ also known as the black national anthem. And it will happen at several league events during the year — the NFL continuing the attention around social justice causes.”

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This piece was written by Jeremy Porter on September 13, 2021. It originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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