As Jordan Sparks sung the national anthem, she had a special message on her hand.
Week 3 of the NFL season has been dominated by protests and gestures in response to President Donald Trump’s comments about players. The Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals both elected to display a sign of unity leading into the game, both teams locking arms and the Cowboys knelt before the anthem played and stood up before the song began.
But pop star Jordin Sparks, who sang the anthem before the Monday Night Football game, also had a message.
Written on Sparks hand was Prov 31: 8-9, referring to Proverbs in the bible. That passage reads as follows:
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Sparks choice of Proverbs is in line with the spirit of the protest started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who originally took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequalities.
Sparks is not the only performer of the national anthem this weekend to make a statement. Singer Rico Lavelle took a knee and raised a fist as he finished performing the song before the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons game on Sunday.
Trump’s comments have inspired widespread demonstrations from players, ranging from kneeling, locking arms to skipping the anthem’s performance entirely. Owners and coaches around the league also released statements in response to Trump’s comments.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who adamantly opposes players not standing for the anthem, seemed to find a middle ground with the team taking a knee with players for a moment, but not during the anthem.