Saying it wants to limit the number of people on the field pregame, the NFL has announced it will not be having any live performances of the national anthem at games this year. The league is also considering limiting or eliminating military and police honor guards that have been part of the ceremonies in the past.
The move is intended to limit the potential transmission of COVID-19 by reducing the number of people with on-field access.
Even though live performances will be suspended, the anthem will still be played from a recording before each game.
Earlier this year the NFL announced that in response to social justice concerns, the song "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," commonly referred to as the black national anthem, will be performed along with the Star-Spangled Banner. Even though military guards will not be present on the field, social justice messages like "End Racism" will be painted in the end zone boundaries.
The NFL's season opener is currently scheduled for September 10.