Burgess Owens opposes NFL playing unofficial Black national anthem before games

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Burgess Owens, former NFL player and now 4th District GOP nominee for Congress, attends a rally in support of police officers at City Hall in Salt Lake City on Saturday, June 20, 2020.

Burgess Owens, who on Tuesday won the Republican nomination for Utah’s 4th Congressional District, has voiced disdain for the playing of a song widely considered the Black national anthem prior to NFL games.

The NFL is reportedly considering playing “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing” prior to the “The Star-Spangled Banner” for all Week 1 games, scheduled between Sept. 10-16. That move, first reported Thursday by ESPN’s The Undefeated by a person familiar with the league’s discussions, is one of several the NFL is expected to take this season to recognize racial inequality and police violence.

Yet Owens, a Black former NFL safety, tweeted Thursday that “There is no ‘black national anthem.’”

He added, “Why does it feel like the country is trying to segregate again sometimes?”

Owens was drafted by the New York Jets in 1973 and spent a decade playing for the Jets and the Oakland Raiders. He won a Super Bowl with the Raiders in 1980.