Congressman Rages Over Alleged Disrespect at Super Bowl

( – The failure of the Super Bowl LVIII audience to rise for the Black National Anthem frustrated Representative Steve Cohen, the lone Democrat from Tennessee’s congressional delegation. Cohen is Jewish and serves as a representative for Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District, which is primarily black.

Cohen vented his frustrations on Twitter, noting that during the playing of the so-called Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a pitiful number of spectators rose to their feet during the Super Bowl.

R&B singer Andra Day sang the song during Sunday’s Super Bowl, which was also played at all four previous playoff games. An anthem celebrating African American faith and independence, the black national anthem was written in the late 19th century by civil rights leader James Weldon Johnson. Although it was played for the first time at a Super Bowl last year, the anthem was previously sung at prior games.

When the Super Bowl played “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” relatively few people stood for the song. This was quite an unflattering picture of the Super Bowl audience, Cohen complained on X.

Not content to criticize the performance and the anthem itself, conservative X accounts kept adding fuel to the fire. According to one X user, the Black National Anthem does not exist, suggesting that those who find this fact offensive could feel free to leave the premises. Even Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz joined into the fray.

While they may have an issue with spectators not standing for “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” Democrats have made it plain that kneeling during the real American National Anthem is perfectly fine.

“The Star-Spangled Banner” — the official US national anthem — has been the subject of player protests for years. In 2018, the NFL ruled that players could not leave their locker rooms for the national anthem until the anthem had been played if they didn’t intend to respect it and the American flag.

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