About two years ago, I began pondering James Weldon Johnson’s 1905 poem “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” an anthem primarily for black people. It is my dream to have the great educator, writer, attorney and civil rights leader’s work restored to its rightful place at NBA, NCAA and high school football and basketball games.
Such teams as the Golden State Warriors, The Cleveland Cavaliers, The Washington Wizards recited and sang the anthem in 2017-2018, along with athletes at Temple University, The College of William and Mary, and my alma mater, The University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. This year, I have been informed that Towson State University and Bowie State have or will play/sing the cherished anthem at football games.
Knowing this brings me joy and hope. NBA and NCAA teams have changed the course of history in singing/playing anthems sung by great musical geniuses such as Kim Weston and Beyonce. It is time for the winning Baltimore Ravens team to follow the honorable action of others.
By performing such a novel act, the Ravens may help to erase some of the negative image highlighted by the president of our United States, and history will be made for the NFL and our great Nation.
An eternal optimist and faithful old man, I believe in God and the owner of the Ravens to act outside of the traditional box and do the “right” thing for its players, fan, and all of America (“BSO and friends perform peace concert near scene of rioting,” May 9, 2015).
Eugene Williams Sr., Clinton
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