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Gladys Knight explains singing national anthem at Super Bowl, gets trounced

Gladys Knight explains singing national anthem at Super Bowl, gets trounced
Gladys Knight. Photo: Instagram/@msgladysknight

Motown legend Gladys Knight incurred the wrath of Black Americans and members of the pro-Colin Kaepernick camp when she chose to throw shade at the former NFL quarterback for using the national anthem as a platform to stage his famous protests against police brutality.

Knight, 74, was responding to the tidal wave of hate she was drenched with for accepting the NFL’s request to sing the national anthem during Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta in early February.

In a statement to Variety, Knight said, “I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice,” she wrote. “It is unfortunate that our national anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the national anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”

“I am here today and on Sunday, (February 3), to give the anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good – I have been in the forefront of this battle longer than most of those voicing their opinions to win the right to sing our country’s anthem on a stage as large as the Super Bowl LIII.”

Knight said she hopes the “Star-Spangled Banner” will bring about a sense of unity and humanism in America:

“No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and cannot be made so by anyone speaking it. I pray that this national anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us.”

Minus a few supporters, many sports and sociopolitical observers remain bitter that Knight answered the NFL’s call and took to social media to express their repulsion with Knight’s decision:

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