Jacksonville Jaguars WR Chris Conley responded to upset fans, saying the song is ‘for all who acknowledge the past and press toward a better future.’
The NFL once blackballed Colin Kaepernick for his NFL anthem stand. Now, after weeks of protests after deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor put race issues on the front burner, they seemingly want to bend over backwards to make amends.
First, league commissioner Roger Goodell responded to a video from several of the league’s players asking him to unequivocally support Black Lives Matter. He did. Then he said that he supports any team that wants to sign Kaepernick, despite the four years he’s been absent from the league.
Now multiple reports suggest that the league will play “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, unofficially known as the Black national anthem, before a preseason game. Predictably that has made some NFL fans upset. #BoycottNFL was trending on Friday afternoon.
Below is are just a few examples of the response:
Even Senator Ted Cruz weighed in:
As reported by Sports Illustrated, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Chris Conley who was among the team’s players who lead a peaceful protest walk through the city, took to Twitter to explain why he approved the league’s move to acknowledge the Black community and by extension, its Black players who make up 75% of the league.
“The league taking the opportunity 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,” Conley said via his Twitter account on Friday.
“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,” Conley continued.