On Wednesday, the NBA announced that Gladys Knight will perform the national anthem at the; 2021 NBA All-Star Game taking place in Atlanta.
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 Gladys Knight and 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.”
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.