Andra Day sang "Lift Every Voice and Sing," the Black national anthem, before Super Bowl LVIII to a standing ovation at Allegiant Stadium.
Day sang the song last month during NFL pregame festivities. Reba McEntire and Post Malone sang the national anthem and "America the Beautiful."
NFL supporters on social media criticized the league for performing the Black national anthem on Super Bowl Sunday. It started early and continued.
Representative Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., posted on X about a chat with his wife about not watching the Super Bowl.
"They’re desecrating America’s National Anthem by playing something called the ‘Black National Anthem,’" he said.
Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Loychik slammed the NFL.
"No such thing as a black national anthem," he wrote on X. Our majestic and beautiful Star Spangled Banner unites us as Americans. The Super Bowl should unite us."It's shameful that the NFL revived racial divisiveness."
Conservative commentator CJ Pearson wrote on X: "As a young black guy and patriotic American, let me state: There is only one national anthem. Since there is only one US. It's for everyone—white, black, yellow, and maroon. The Left's dividing strategy is tiring and unnecessary."
"No ‘Black National Anthem’ exists... Politician Graham Allen penned "end".
Day played at the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective event in Los Angeles and Clive Davis' pre-Grammy gala alongside Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Keyshia Cole, and Frederic Yonnet
"If I’m here, I’m of the mindset that I’m called to be here," she told AP on Thursday. This is a big moment. I want everyone to experience the spirit, not merely succeed."
Day told "CBS Mornings" on Friday that practicing the song made her nervous. She wanted the song let listeners "share in a really, really beautiful, spiritual moment together."
The NFL began playing the Black national anthem in 2020 after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd. America-wide protests against racial inequality began with the occurrence.
The NAACP promoted "Lift Every Voice and Sing" as the Black national anthem in 1917.
AP contributed to this article.