Super Bowl LVIII’s pregame festivities caused a stir on Sunday, with some fans voicing disapproval of Andra Day’s performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Day received a standing ovation after her 2-minute-and-30-second rendition of what has been known as “the Black National Anthem.” Activists sang the song during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. However, some on social media criticized the league for including the performance, claiming it is unnecessarily divisive.
“As I state every year the NFL does this, I’ve only ever wanted or respected one National Anthem,” one user wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “I put my hand on my heart for the song that sings to the land of the free and the home of the brave. ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ is a beautiful song but not a National Anthem. Stop this division.”
“The saddest part of all this is that Woke Liberal Left has ruined a beautiful song for millions of Americans,” another X user wrote. “‘Lift Every Voice & Sing’ is a beautiful, brilliantly written song. So, of course, Liberal Extremists had to ruin it by turning it into an Anthem of Segregation.”
Others publicized their support for the addition, accusing those against the performance of being racist and questioning some people’s understanding of the hymn’s significance.
“White racists have a problem with ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ being sung at the Super Bowl despite 58% of the players being black,” one X user wrote. “That is white privilege!”
“Does MAGA know that ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ has been sung before every NFL game this year?” another user added.
According to Fox News, the NFL began playing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during the 2020 season as a response to the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.