Former Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has received criticism and praise alike after she refused to stand up during the Super Bowl LVII’s playing of what many refer to as ‘the Black national anthem.’
Her official campaign Twitter account, known as “Kari Lake War Room,” explained that Lake is opposed to the concept of a racially segregated national anthem as it is her belief that Americans of all skin colors should be unified as one. The war room also took a shot at Gov. Katie Hobbs (D-AZ), saying she “simply hates black people.”
“Our girl is against the idea of a ‘black National Anthem’ for the same reason she’s against a ‘white National Anthem,’” read the post. “She subscribes to the idea of ‘one Nation, under God.’ @katiehobbs is against it because she just simply hates black people.”
In its slight against Hobbes, the Kari Lake War Room was likely referencing a lawsuit filed against the Arizona governor over alleged racism and sexism. Hobbs ultimately lost the dispute, with a jury awarding $2.75 million in damages to the Plaintiff. Due to Arizona state laws, the payment was capped at $300,000, with a total of $758,806 between the award and legal costs being footed by the taxpayer.
The so-called ‘Black national anthem’ is technically titled “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and was sung prior to the start of the Super Bowl at Arizona’s State Farm Stadium. It was performed by Sheryl Lee Ralph, who is reportedly an actress on the TV show Abbott Elementary. According to the Washington Examiner, the song was written over 100 years ago and was sometimes used as a rallying cry during the civil rights movement.
Reactions to Lake’s protest against the divisive anthem varied widely, as seen by numerous reactions posted to social media.
Twitter user Kevin Scott wrote online, “You don’t deserve to be governor and you aren’t.”
Meanwhile, other users expressed support for Lake’s refusal to stand up.
“I ONLY stand for the USA NATIONAL ANTHEM. I have zero issue with not standing considering the # of NFL players history of kneeling during the USA National Anthem,” posted one user.
Lake, who became well-known in politics following her campaign against Hobbs, is slated to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference’s high-profile Ronald Reagan Dinner this March. A spokesman from CPAC reportedly lauded Lake as “a rare leader who captured the hearts of conservatives with her honest, bold message including closing the Arizona border and exposing widespread election fraud.”