Demario Davis believes the NFL playing the 'Black National Anthem' has 'good intentions' but the fight against racism must continue
With the NFL reportedly considering that the ‘Black National Anthem’ be played before games come Week 1 of the regular season, the focus of the league’s response to recent issues of social justice will continue to be a focal point. For some players like Demario Davis, that means embracing the NFL’s gesture but not looking past the larger and far more pressing issues.
Davis, an All-Pro linebacker with the New Orleans Saints and twice a former member of the New York Jets, has become one of the league’s loudest voices on social justice issues in recent years. He is passionate about systemic racism in particular, something that he says is manifested in the bureaucratic set-up of the criminal justice system.
The NFL veteran linebacker is one of the few players who not only backs up his speeches on change and equality but can accurately provide evidence for why he believes reform and change must be made.
“I believe the thought of playing the song comes with good intentions,” Davis told SportsIllustrated.com’s ‘Jets Country’ this weekend.
“But what matters most is that we address the issues that are plaguing black communities including racism and all forms of systematic injustice.”
Davis specifically highlighted several key issues that he hopes will be addressed including police brutality, addressing the nation’s past, addressing poverty in Black communities, examining what real progress looks like and prayerfully considering as a nation how to move forward among several other points of proggress.
In addition to being an outspoken advocate on behalf of social change, Davis is also donating proceeds from his Man of God mask sales to families of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery.
The official name of the ‘Black National Anthem’ is ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing.’ The anthem has a rich and deep history, having first been performed in 1900 to honor the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.