OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
5:50 PM – Monday, February 12, 2024
Tennessee Democrat, Representative Steve Cohen, expressed frustration with the Super Bowl LVIII crowd for failing to stand during the Black National Anthem.
On Sunday afternoon, Cohen (D-Tenn.) expressed his rage on X (Twitter). He wrote that “very very few” in the crowd at the Super Bowl stood for the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” when it was played during the game.
During the Super Bowl on Sunday, Andra Day performed the song and drew much applause from the crowd. This year’s Super Bowl performance of the song, which had been played at the previous four playoff games, featured Day, who is known as an R&B singer.
James Weldon Johnson, a civil rights activist, wrote the Black national anthem in the late 19th century as an anthem to African American faith and freedom.
Representing Tennessee’s predominantly Black 9th Congressional District is congressman Cohen, who is Jewish. Within the state’s congressional delegation, he is the only Democrat.
“Very very few stood at the Super Bowl for ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’. The Negro National Anthem. Not a pretty picture of the Super Bowl crowd.” Cohen stated to X.
Cohen later replied with another statement on X when a user criticized the use of two different national anthems.
“I stand for both. And in Memphis, most do,” Cohen replied to an X user.
“I honor our national anthem and respect it as representing our country and in our pride in it. However if you look at the history and some of the verbiage, it does relate to slavery and not in a questioning manner,” he later wrote.
Conservative X accounts continued to pile on to the argument, expressing disapproval not only for the performance, but also for the anthem’s existence.
“There is no such thing as a “Black National Anthem,” one X account wrote. “If you have a problem with the AMERICAN National Anthem, feel free to leave.”
Another user stated, “No such thing as a ‘Black National Anthem.’ The end.”
The NFL had performed the anthem at other games, however, it was first played during a Super Bowl last year.
Players’ protests against kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which is the official U.S. national anthem, had plagued the NFL for years. The NFL banned players from kneeling during the national anthem in 2018 and ordered them to stay in their locker rooms if there was an issue.
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