“Very only a few stood at Tremendous Bowl for ‘Elevate Each Voice and Sing’. The Negro Nationwide Anthem. Not a fairly image of Tremendous Bowl crowd.” Cohen groused on X.
Sunday marked the second consecutive Tremendous Bowl by which the ballad was carried out reside on-field for the large sport. The poem was sung by Andra Day and drew a lot fanfare from the viewers.
The black nationwide anthem was composed by civil rights activist James Weldon Johnson within the late nineteenth century as an ode to hope for African American freedom in addition to religion.
Cohen, who’s Jewish, represents Tennessee’s ninth Congressional District, which is 66.8% black. He’s the one Democrat within the state’s congressional delegation.
“I stand for each. And in Memphis, most do,” Cohen replied when one X consumer criticised [sic] the usage of two nationwide anthems.
“I honor our nationwide anthem and respect it as representing our nation and in our delight in it. Nonetheless, if you happen to have a look at the historical past and among the verbiage, it does relate to slavery and never in a questioning method,” he later defined.
Previous to final 12 months’s Tremendous Bowl, throughout which the NFL formally performed the hymn reside on the sphere earlier than kickoff for the primary time, the league had performed the black nationwide anthem at different video games.
For years, the NFL had been consumed by controversy over gamers kneeling throughout the nationwide anthem — “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
In 2018, the NFL started barring gamers from kneeling throughout the anthem and to stay within the locker rooms if there was a problem.
A bevy of black athletes akin to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled throughout the nationwide anthem to protest the remedy of black Individuals within the nation, triggering backlash.
Cohen has stoked controversy along with his tweets about race relations up to now, together with one nonsensical put up in 2013.
“Informed AfricanAmerican towdriver my week -father -DNA take a look at not father reporter/ engaging fallout.he(not conscious of TN9)says,You’re BLack! Yo,” he posted on Twitter, because it was then referred to as.
He later defined that was a joke and urged that his black constituents see him as considered one of them.
“It was enjoyable. It was humorous. I had a tricky night time. Right here’s what occurred: I drive an ‘86 Caddy. Plenty of African-Individuals drive outdated vehicles — a stereotype — quite a lot of African-Individuals drive outdated vehicles,” Cohen later recounted to MSNBC.
“I’m having no luck. He drives me, we ditch the automobile, I come again and I inform him the story. … He goes, ‘Man, you’re black.’ And I took it was a praise. I hear it in Memphis on a regular basis. My constituents don’t have a look at me as a white individual, they are saying, ‘You’re considered one of us.’”
Cohen has beforehand dispatched black Democratic major challengers for his seat, including one that cut an ad trying to link him to the Klu Klux Klan. He has served in Congress since 2007.