In September 2023, a claim circulated that the National Football League (NFL) had made the bold decision to cease playing “The Star Spangled Banner” before its games, citing a desire to keep politics out of sports. The claim was initially published by SpaceXMania, but it’s essential to clarify that the article was labeled as satire from the outset. In this article, we will fact-check this satirical claim and provide context regarding the NFL’s stance on the national anthem.

The Satirical Claim

On September 26, 2023, an article titled “NFL Drops National Anthem From The Games, Says ‘Politics Should Stay Out Of Sports'” was published on SpaceXMania.

The article claimed that the NFL had decided to eliminate the traditional playing of the national anthem before its games, asserting that “politics should stay out of sports.” However, it is crucial to note that SpaceXMania explicitly categorized the article as “SATIRE,” indicating that its contents were intended to be humorous and not taken seriously.

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The Reality

The NFL has not stopped playing the national anthem before its games in 2023 or at any other time. The claim about the NFL’s decision to remove the national anthem from its games was entirely fictional and satirical.

The NFL has had a longstanding tradition of playing the national anthem before games, and it remains a part of the pre-game ceremonies.

Context: NFL and the National Anthem

The playing of the national anthem before NFL games has been a tradition for decades. The practice gained renewed attention and controversy in recent years when some players chose to kneel during the anthem as a form of peaceful protest against racial inequality and police brutality. These protests, initiated by players like Colin Kaepernick, sparked a national conversation about the intersection of sports and politics.

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The NFL, in response to the protests, adopted various policies and initiatives aimed at addressing social justice issues. While these actions reflected the league’s willingness to engage with social and political matters, they did not entail the removal of the national anthem from pre-game ceremonies.