Victory Boyd, a black, female, Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, was told by the NFL she won’t be singing the National Anthem at the September 9 opening game as planned.
Boyd, who refuses to get the COVID vaccine on religious grounds, got the news in an email to her father/manager, John Boyd.
“As I understand that Victory will not be fully vaccinated by the time of the Kickoff game, she would not have been able to comply with the terms of the Game Day Field Access Policy,” NFL senior director for media and entertainment events Seth Dudowsky wrote in the email. “And as a result, we unfortunately will not be able to invite Victoria to perform the national anthem at this year’s Kickoff game.”
Ms. Boyd, who has sung the National Anthem at two previous football games, stands to lose a lot as a result of the NFL’s decision. She won’t get the $20,000 performance fee her father had negotiated and will miss out on invaluable national television exposure. The opening game, featuring the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is one of the NFL’s most-watched games after the Super Bowl.
FACT-O-RAMA! NFL players are not required to get the vaccine to play, but they do need to take a daily COVID test.
Victory Boyd told the Epoch Times that her decision not to raise her sleeve and bend her knee stems from her Christian beliefs.
The Bible admonishes Christians to appreciate their bodies as being sacred and a temple of the Holy Spirit and to not participate in things that can defile the body or render the body dysfunctional. I am in prayer to make sure that the Lord guides me into the right decision concerning receiving an unproven injection with artificial properties that can potentially have a long term effect on my reproductive health. If I want to take the vaccine, the decision will be between myself, my doctor and my God. At this point, the Spirit of God is leading me to take a stand for freedom of choice.
Ms. Boyd also told the Epoch Times that she fears the NFL’s decision may be a harbinger of future restrictions.
“Throughout my life I have overcome many obstacles, but now I was faced with a new glass ceiling that I couldn’t break through,” she said. “It feels like we’re going backwards to a familiar place that I thought we had overcome as a country. To be disqualified because of a discriminatory policy that had nothing to do with my talent made me feel alarmed because of what it implies for not only myself but millions of others.”
Victory’s father isn’t pleased with the NFL’s decision.
“If accommodations were made for tens of thousands of mask-less, unvaccinated fans screaming over the field and many unvaccinated players running back and forth on the field, surely an accommodation could have been made for a single singer (standing alone distanced from all other people) to sing the National Anthem on the sidelines for only a minute and 45 seconds” he stated in an email to the Epoch Times.
Despite John Boyd’s opposition, the NFL, which made extensive accommodations to entertainers and others during the 2020 season due to COVID, isn’t budging.
“This is our first big one for a national broadcast and it is important that we are showcasing a singer on the field for the first time, other than the Super Bowl, in the last year,” Dudowsky told John Boyd.