Fact Check

NFL Stopped Playing National Anthem Before Games: ‘Politics Should Stay out of Sports’?

"The latest move by the NFL, however, could be its boldest yet," SpaceXMania reported.

Published Sep 27, 2023

A flag fills the field during the National Anthem before a football game between the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina on Sep 18, 2023.  (David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Image Via David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
In September 2023, the NFL stopped playing "The Star Spangled Banner" before its games, stating that politics should stay out of sports.

On Sept. 26, 2023, SpaceXMania published an article claiming that the National Football League (NFL) had decided to stop playing the national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner," before games:

Breaking: NFL Drops National Anthem From The Games, Says 'Politics Should Stay Out Of Sports'

The National Football League (NFL) has always been a centerpiece of American culture, and as such, it has often been a place where politics and sport have intersected. The latest move by the NFL, however, could be its boldest yet. In a move that took the nation by surprise, the league has decided to drop the traditional playing of the National Anthem from all its games, stating firmly that "politics should stay out of sports."

This item was not a factual recounting of real-life events. As originally published, the SpaceXMania article featured a "Satire" label above its headline. SpaceXMania describes its output as being humorous or satirical in nature, as follows:

Please note that the article under the category "SATIRE" are satirical in nature and are not meant to be taken seriously. These articles are meant to be humorous and are often entirely made up. We make no claim that the information presented in these articles is true or accurate.

During the 2023-24 NFL season, we have fact-checked several satirical claims about the league, including that the Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy suspended a player for kneeling during the national anthem; that the New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had fired a player for kneeling during the national anthem; and that the New York Jets head coach said he would "quit on the spot" if Colin Kaepernick joined the team. None of those stories turned out to be true.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.


Disclaimer - SpaceXMania. 3 Jan. 2021, https://spacexmania.com/disclaimer/.

LaMagdeleine, Izz Scott. "Cowboys Coach Mike McCarthy Suspends Player for Kneeling During National Anthem?" Snopes, 25 Sept. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/mike-mccarthy-suspended-player/.

---. "New York Jets' Head Coach Will 'Quit on the Spot' If Team Signs Kaepernick?" Snopes, 19 Sept. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/colin-kaepernick-jets/.

Liles, Jordan. "Patriots Coach Bill Belichick Fired an Anthem Kneeler: 'Not On My Field'?" Snopes, 22 Sept. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/belichick-fired-anthem-kneeler/.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.