Matt Gaetz Says He’s Not Watching Super Bowl Because of ‘Black National Anthem’ Performance

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz added his voice to the chorus surrounding Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday — while also stating he wasn’t in favor of a classic song often sung by a chorus. Gaetz tweeted an exchange he had with his wife where Gaetz announced the pair would not be watching the Super Bowl, and after his partner Ginger asked why, Gaetz said, “They’re desecrating America’s National Anthem by playing something called the ‘Black National Anthem.'”

Not to be outdone, Luckey added her own racially insensitive addendum to the conversation and asked, “Does that mean Cardi is performing?”

Grammy-award-winning singer Andra Day will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is often referred to as the “Black National Anthem,” before the game on Sunday. Additional pregame performances include Reba McEntire singing the National Anthem and Post Malone singing “America the Beautiful,” but presumably Gaetz had no problem with the planned appearances of those performers. They are both white.

Civil rights activist and NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson penned “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in 1900 with his brother, John Rosamond Johnson, who composed the music. The song was adopted by the NAACP and used throughout the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and ’60s.

The song, which was written three decades before “The Star-Spangled Banner” became the National Anthem of the U.S., was also performed before the 2023 Super Bowl.

Day was discovered by the wife of Stevie Wonder at a mall and signed to Buskin Records in 2011. She released her first record in 2015.

On Thursday, Day told Apple Music’s Nadeska Alexis of singing the song, “More than anything, it’s an honor. It’s exciting. And it feels intentional. I like to do things with intention and with purpose.”

She added, “It’s a hymn of triumph, and that’s what I want people to encounter when I sing this song. I want them to know that we have victory and we have peace already… It feels like there’s an honor.”

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