National Anthem

Listen as Leon Bridges sings the national anthem for our times

The critically acclaimed soul singer explores the themes of the anthem, creating a beautiful rendition that feels like both a hymn and a benediction

ESPN presents ‘The Anthem‘ project: Six voices on the song that everyone hears differently

  • The meaning of “The Star-Spangled Banner” — America’s original protest song — on the brink of its most high-profile performance. By Tom Junod
  • Before singer José Feliciano even finished performing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in Tiger Stadium to begin Game 5 of the 1968 World Series, his career was in ruins. By Danyel Smith
  • When the Amherst Regional High School girls’ volleyball team started kneeling during the anthem, Megan Rice chose to remain standing. By Jamie Cushman
  • Ten days after the U.S. entered the first Gulf War, Whitney Houston didn’t just perform the anthem at Super Bowl XXV — she owned it. This is the story of that moment in time. By Danyel Smith
  • Inspired by Colin Kaepernick, players from a youth football team in Beaumont, Texas, decided to take a knee. That’s when their season ended but their story began. By Walter Iooss