Husker Basketball will continue playing Unity Anthem

Gov. Ricketts says only one American Anthem should be played

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Before every home Huskers Basketball game the Unity Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is played before the National Anthem.


On Friday Governor Pete Ricketts released a statement saying only one American anthem should be played before Husker games.

“There is only one national anthem for the United States: It’s the Star-Spangled Banner,” said Gov. Ricketts. “It’s a symbol of our national unity and it’s the only anthem for America that should be played before Husker games. If athletic programs are going to play other ‘anthems’ before games, what has historically been a moment of patriotic pride will become nothing more than a series of political gestures that will divide Nebraskans based on their identity rather than bringing us together.”

The Huskers started playing the song before games last year, and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” became the official song of the NAACP back in 1919.

Men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg said it’s important to both the men’s and women’s teams to play the song.

“We have players from all across the country, all across the world that have come together and play for each other and be one and come together,” Hoiberg said at a press conference on Monday. “And obviously we need to be better in our country in that area.”


Both the men’s and women’s teams are opening the season on Tuesday. The women’s team tips off against Maine at noon, and the men’s team tips off against Western Illinois at 7 p.m.

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