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The NFL is reportedly adding “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to its playlist. The Black national anthem will be played (and possibly performed) during week 1 of the upcoming season, ESPN reported on Thursday (July 2).
The song will reportedly play ahead of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” during pregame festivities.
The move, which comes four years after Colin Kaepernick began his on-the-field protest against police brutality, reflects the latest shift in the league’s ever-changing stance on the Black Lives Matter movement. After previously banning players from protesting during the National Anthem, and quietly settling collusion lawsuits brought on by Kaepernick and Eric Reid, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted last month that the league was wrong for essentially silencing players and ignoring issues of police brutality, racial injustice, and systematic oppression.
“We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black people, Goodell said in a video statement. “We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter.”
The Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans are expected to kick off the 2020-2021 NFL season on Sept. 10.
Colin Kaepernick Partners With Black Verticals, ‘Level’ and ‘Momentum,’ Joins Medium Board Of Directors
Months after Colin Kaepernick revealed his plans to release a memoir, he and his publishing company—Kaepernick Publishing—are joining forces with Medium.
Aside from having a seat on Medium's board of directors, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback will be conducting a series of Q&A interviews on the topics of race, prison reform, and more. Content from Kaepernick's tentatively titled series "Conversations with Colin" will be published on Medium's Level, where he'll also consult on a series of feature articles on the Black men-focused vertical led by former VIBE editor-in-chief, Jermaine Hall.
“Colin is one of our social justice leaders,” Hall said to The Washington Post. “I think he’s leading the charge and it’s based on what’s going on in the country right now. And because he’s no longer in the NFL and we’ve lost his talent on the field — hopefully he gets back there — but we’ve gained an incredibly powerful voice for the black community who can actually affect social change.”
Kaepernick will also be collaborating with Level's Black news focused vertical, Momentum, and "sharing his thoughts on anti-racism in our society" and "co-publish thought-provoking feature stories from diverse writers of color," according to the statement released by Medium's CEO Ev Williams.
Kaepernick Publishing and its founder released the following statement on Twitter:
We’re excited to announce our founder, @kaepernick7, will be the newest Board Member @medium. In addition to this, #KaepernickPublishing partners with Medium to further our mission uplifting voices of our communities. pic.twitter.com/FQYYNdTQcP
— Kaepernick Publishing (@KaepernickPub) June 18, 2020
"Throughout history, our stories have been manipulated, destroyed, and erased," says Kaepernick in the video reel on his publishing company's official website. "Our culture has been colonized, our genius exploited, and our creativity co-opted.
"We've had to fight for our humanity, representation, and control. Control of our narratives is crucial to decolonize knowledge, stories, cultures, and minds. We must take control of our narratives. The kind of control that can liberate us from seeing ourselves through the gaze of others. The kind of control that can change the way we see the world and how the world sees us."
The 2020 NBA season could be headed for a revival. The league is in talks with Disney World to potentially restart what's left of the 2019-2020 season this summer, the NBA confirmed on Saturday (May 23).
“The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing,” NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass said in a statement.
“Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place.”
The NBA was forced into cancellation amid the COVID-19 outbreak, specifically after Utah Jazz player, Rudy Gobert, contracted coronavirus and exposed several other plays to the disease, including teammate Donavan Mitchell.
Since then, several former and current NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19, the most recent being basketball great Patrick Ewing.
“This virus is serious and should not be taken lightly,” Ewing said upon announcing his health diagnosis over the weekend. “I want to encourage everyone to stay safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones.”