Rep. Donalds on 'Hannity': Bill Maher is right, there should be one national anthem before NFL games

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Rep. Byron Donalds ‘agrees’ with Bill Maher that there is one national anthem

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., and ‘Outkick’ founder Clay Travis on the Black national anthem being played at sporting events.

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., told “Hannity” on Monday that he “agrees” with HBO host Bill Maher that there should be one national anthem played before NFL games.

“I never thought I would agree with Bill Maher but I actually do,” Donalds said, adding there is “just one national anthem that all Americans stand and sing to, especially when somebody is doing it in a fantastic way.” 

Donalds said as a child in school, he used to sing the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and that it matters to a lot of Black people in the country.

The Florida congressman said, however, the Black national anthem shouldn’t be used as the “other” national anthem.

“If the NFL wants it to do it at halftime or some other time, that’s fine, but there should be one national anthem without question,” Donalds said. 

Maher blasted the NFL for playing two national anthems at Thursday night’s season kickoff game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys.

He continued, “I saw last night on the football game, Alicia Keys sang ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ which now I hear is called the Black national anthem. Now, maybe we should get rid of our national anthem, but I think we should have one national anthem. I think when you go down a road where you’re having two different national anthems, colleges sometimes now have … many of them have different graduation ceremonies for Black and White, separate dorms — this is what I mean! Segregation! You’ve inverted the idea. We’re going back to that under a different name.”

The HBO host went to blast the University of Oregon for having lower graduation standards for “people of color.” Panelist George Will agreed with Maher’s sentiment, calling it the “soft bigotry of low expectations,” while the other panelist Christina Bellantoni was more sympathetic with the adjusted standards for minorities, telling Maher it’s “important to understand” why these discussions are taking place. 

Donalds praised “Lift Every Voice” but rejected the way it has been used for politics.

“What I don’t like is that it is now being used, unfortunately, in this social media political way of bringing division to the country. I just think it’s wrong,” he said.

Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

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