A Democratic congressman raised immoderate eyebrows online Sunday erstwhile he took a changeable astatine nan Super Bowl crowd successful Las Vegas, saying very fewer fans stood for nan singing of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," calling it "not a very beautiful picture."
Known colloquially arsenic nan "Black National Anthem," Grammy victor Andra Day performed nan song arsenic portion of nan pre-game festivities for Super Bowl LVIII betwixt nan Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.
"Very very fewer stood for ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’" Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn. wrote connected X. "The Negro National Anthem. Not a beautiful image of Super Bowl crowd." Cohen represents a majority-Black territory successful occidental Tennessee.
Day's rendition of nan opus drew cheers astatine Allegiant Stadium.
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Cohen's tweet drew attraction online, and nan Democrat responded to his critics successful nan moment. One told him he should only guidelines for 1 nationalist anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," but Cohen wrote back, "I guidelines for both. And successful Memphis, astir do."
Another told him nan "AMERICAN" nationalist anthem by Francis Scott Key "doesn’t spot color. Dems person been nan beforehand statement successful dividing this state pinch title wars."
"Well, I grant our nationalist anthem and respect it arsenic representing our state and successful our pridefulness successful it," Cohen replied. "However if you look astatine nan history and immoderate of nan verbiage, it does subordinate to slavery and not successful a questioning manner."
Cohen replied to others who made crude remarks astir his X station arsenic well.
The determination to execute nan opus astatine this year's Super Bowl stirred statement connected societal media, though it's been an yearly occurrence astatine nan large crippled since nan 2020 play amid nan league's renewed accent connected group justness causes.
Critics person said nan federation has only 1 existent nationalist anthem and serves only to disagreement races further.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., wrote connected X astir a speech he had pinch his woman astir why they weren’t going to watch nan Super Bowl.
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"They’re desecrating America’s National Anthem by playing thing called nan ‘Black National Anthem,’" he wrote.
"1619 Project" laminitis Nikole Hannah-Jones deed backmost astatine critics past period by saying nan "White nationalist anthem" is already played.
"It was written by a racist enslaver who believed Black group were inferior and fought abolitionists successful nan courts," she wrote of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
The NAACP first began to beforehand "Lift Every Voice and Sing" arsenic nan country's "Black nationalist anthem" successful 1917. Written arsenic a plea for liberty by James Weldon Johnson, it was besides a civilian authorities rallying outcry successful nan 1950s and 1960s, according to nan organization.
In summation to Day, Reba McEntire sang nan country's nationalist anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," and Post Malone performed "America nan Beautiful" earlier nan Super Bowl. Usher performed nan halftime show that included a slew of superstar cameos.
In only nan 2nd overtime crippled successful Super Bowl history, nan Chiefs rallied from an early shortage and defeated nan 49ers pinch a walk-off touchdown pass, 25-22. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was named nan game's Most Valuable Player.
Fox News' Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.