On Wednesday, the @nba announced that Gladys Knight will perform the national anthem at the 2021 NBA All-Star Game taking place in Atlanta. Being that Gladys graduated from Shaw University, one of the oldest HBCUs in the country, it only makes sense.
According to the press release, this is part of a tribute to #HBCUs, as the league is honoring Black institutions throughout the night. Clark Atlanta University Philharmonic Society Choir will perform a rendition of ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ from its campus location.
Also, Florida A&M University Marching 100 and Grambling State University Marching Band will also perform at their campuses. It’s also reported that the Divine Nine fraternities and sororities will introduce Atlanta’s “most reputable step teams from Spelman College and Morehouse College.
While many may be happy about the NBA All-Star game in Atlanta, Mayor Keshia Lance-Bottoms is not. She recently released a statement and said, “Under normal circumstances, we would be extremely grateful for the opportunity to host the NBA All-Star game, but this is not a typical year. I have shared my concerns related to public health and safety with the NBA and Atlanta Hawks. We are in agreement that this is a made-for-TV event only, and people should not travel to Atlanta to party.”
She also added that there will be “no NBA-sanctioned events open to the public” and that the city strongly encourages local businesses “not to host events in the city related to this game.”
LeBron James has also expressed that he isn’t too fond of playing a game during the pandemic.
As of now, the NBA has a few protocols in place. Players are only allowed a very limited number of guests, all players must travel to Atlanta by private car or plane, and players will only be allowed to leave their hotels for All-Star events at the arena.
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