Timothy A. Clary / AFP via Getty ImagesSinger Demi Lovato sings the national anthem during Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Feb. 2, 2020. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP via Getty Images)
The NFL will ban national anthem singers from games in the upcoming season to help contain the spread of the coronavirus, a new report claims.
Michael McCarthy with Front Office Sports tweeted the report as breaking news Monday.
“BREAKING: NFL won’t allow National Anthem singers on-field this year. ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ will still be played,” McCarthy wrote.
“But due to COVID-19 concerns, performers will have to pre-tape the anthem – or have their rendition piped in live from an outside venue,” he added.
In a separate Twitter post, McCarthy wrote that he had been given an exclusive about the reported decision, which also limits the presence of military and police personnel at games.
Those who might see their presence on the field diminished are honor guards, who present the colors and escort American flags to and from events.
“EXCLUSIVE: The NFL is ditching live on-field performances by U.S. National Anthem singers this season,” McCarthy wrote.
“Due to COVID-19 risk to players, the league may also curtail on-field access of Military/Police Honor Guards who present the American flag before games,” McCarthy added.
In his reporting, McCarthy wrote, “The NFL will ditch live performances of the national anthem before games this season, sources said. Given the abundance of American flag imagery inside stadiums on signs and video boards, the league could also curtail the on-field access of live military and police honor guards.”
“The absence of anthem singers, and possibly military and police honor guards, won’t be the only changes inside NFL stadiums this year as the league deals with weighty social justice issues this season,” the report added.
“It is also unlikely that fans will be allowed to attend games in several markets, with teams such as the New York Giants, Jets and Philadelphia Eagles already stating fans will not attend this season.”
If the report is true, then pre-game traditions such as the singing of the national anthem and displaying of American flags might disappear for the time being.
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While McCarthy wrote that the changes will be made to limit the potential for the spread of the coronavirus, the report is sure to lead to speculation that by removing the national anthem from professional football, the NFL can limit decisive acts by players, such as kneeling during the anthem.
Other leagues that are now back after a sports hiatus have embraced the Black Lives Matter political movement, and baseball games and basketball games have seen entire teams refuse to stand during or before “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
While not conclusively linked to the embrace of leftist politics, ratings for Major League Baseball and the NBA have been underwhelming since the return of play for both leagues last month.
The poor ratings for professional baseball and basketball were released after countless fans expressed outrage at players refusing to stand for their county’s flag and anthem, and at professional sports’ apparent complete embrace of the neo-Marxist Black Lives Matter movement.
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