Former gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake criticized the NFL on Thursday for its decision to play a rendition of the “black national anthem” prior to the season’s opening game.
Before kickoff in Kansas City, a local youth choir performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to protests from the audience. The Christian vocalist Natalie Grant then performed “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
“I hear the [NFL] is still trying to force this divisive nonsense down America’s throats. I won’t stand for it. Literally,” Lake posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “America has only ONE National Anthem and that Anthem is color blind.”
A picture of her seated during a performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” prior to Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona, earlier this year accompanied her post.
I hear the @NFL is still trying to force this divisive nonsense down America's throats.
I won't stand for it. Literally.
America has only ONE National Anthem and that Anthem is color blind. https://t.co/fFSHcp7sP1
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) September 8, 2023
Lake told Newsweek, “I’m against a ‘black National Anthem’ for the same reason I am against a ‘white National Anthem,’ a ‘gay National Anthem,’ a ‘straight National Anthem,’ a ‘Jewish National Anthem,’ a ‘Christian National Anthem,’ and so on.”
“We are ONE NATION, under God, Francis Scott Key’s words ring true for every single American Citizen regardless of their skin color,” she added.
The National Football League began playing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at the beginning of the 2020 season. The song has been played during pregame ceremonies prior to the previous three Super Bowls.
While Lake’s refusal to stand for the “black national anthem” garnered some criticism at the time, black conservatives rallied behind her.
Kari Lake was not amused by the “black national anthem.” pic.twitter.com/5Ri6RUDy09
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) February 13, 2023
Fox News reports that former California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder and Utah Representative Burgess Owens, a former NFL player, supported Lake and criticized the concept of a separate national anthem based on skin color.
“I agree with Kari Lake. We have one national anthem, and it’s THE national anthem,” Elder said in a statement.
“I am as opposed to playing both anthems as I am to the term ‘African — [American]’ and to Black History Month. These things are divisive. They imply blacks are somehow separate and apart from American history, tradition, and experience. It suggests continued victimization and oppression when antiblack racism in America has never been more insignificant.”
“Blacks fought and died in every American war, including the Revolutionary War, in which a black man was the first casualty. We ARE American history.”
Burgess agreed, saying the NFL was “working very hard” to divide Americans.
“I will not stand for any other national anthem but our National Anthem, so I’m with Kari Lake,” Burgess said. “I will not be part of dividing our country between Blacks and Whites. I will not do that. I will not be part of it. The NFL has ashamed themselves.”