Ricketts: Second “National Anthem” at Husker games “is wrong”

Lincoln, NE (November 3, 2021) Governor Pete Ricketts has reacted with criticism to reports that a “second national anthem” has been played at some University of Nebraska sporting events.  The issue was first raised by Gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen, referring to the playing of “Lift Every Voice And Sing” before Husker exhibition basketball games last weekend.

The Governor issued the following statement: “There is only one national anthem for the United States: It’s the Star Spangled Banner. 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 series of political gestures that will divide Nebraskans based on their identify rather than bringing us together.”


Republican candidate for Governor of Nebraska Jim Pillen is criticizing the playing of what he called a second national anthem at Husker sporting events.  Pillen was referring to “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, sometimes called the black national anthem, which was played at Husker basketball games over the past weekend along with the National Anthem.

Pillen said the National Anthem is “the song of our country. It celebrates the ultimate sacrifice by thousands in defense of our constitutional freedoms, and unites us as Americans.”  He added that “having another national anthem that drives division is wrong.”

KFOR News has requested comment from the Athletic Department on whether plans include a second national anthem at other events but has not yet received a reply.