On Thursday, Sept. 9, the NFL gave the Black national anthem its debut to a mix of reactions from fans and social media.
Both national anthems were played. However, some people decided to take to Twitter and express their outrage, calling the NFL disrespectful for playing the Black national anthem, even though they played the traditional anthem as well.
To an extent, I can understand the outrage, but I’m here to talk about why it’s okay and not disrespectful that both anthems were played.
The concept of this anthem has a very separate but equal kind of tone to it that can seem hypocritical to some. The idea is the same, but it is aimed more at the Black community.
While this may seem like an idea that will potentially separate people through the anthem, which is the opposite of what this country needs, it in fact doesn’t aim to do that. It gives the Black community an anthem they can be proud of.
Many Americans seem to forget one thing about the traditional national anthem—it was written before African Americans were free. The whole concept of the song is that America is the “home of the free” during a time when slavery still existed. It wouldn’t be until 40 years later that African Americans would get a taste of that freedom the anthem promised.
The aim of the Black national anthem is to take a step forward and promote something that the Black community can be proud of. It isn’t meant to disrespect military, police or even firefighters, but to bring a struggling community together.
This is proven by the fact that the traditional anthem was still played to honor the troops and the victims of 9/11, with families who were affected by the tragedies being recognized at the game. If the aim of this anthem was to disrespect those groups, why would the traditional one be played as well?
Times are still changing and progress will keep being made, but regardless of what side you’re on, if the Black community is proud of their anthem, then the NFL has every right to be proud of it too.