Gannon U to Play ‘Black National Anthem’ at Games

February 10, 2021

Gannon University, a private Catholic university in Erie, Pa., will play “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” commonly known as the Black national anthem, before all of its home games for every sport, the Erie Times-News reported. The song will accompany the “Star-Spangled Banner” as a way to educate students about Black history, Kelvin Jefferson, coach of Gannon’s men’s basketball team, told the Times-News.

The university's decision follows other sports associations and conferences encouraging colleges to play the song before basketball games. The National Association of Basketball Coaches proposed last fall that college sports leaders incorporate the anthem, and some have taken up the initiative during Black History Month, including the NCAA Division I Ohio Valley Conference, according to a release from Southeast Missouri State University, a member of the conference. The conference will play the anthem at each of its teams' first home games during February, the release said.

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