An appearance by Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Victory Boyd to perform the National Anthem at the NFL’s Sept. 9 season-opening game in Tampa Bay was canceled by the league because she declined for religious reasons to be vaccinated against the CCP Virus.
“As I understand that Victory will not be fully vaccinated by the time of the Kickoff game, she would not have been able to comply with the terms of the Game Day Field Access Policy,” NFL Senior Director for Media and Entertainment Events Seth Dudowsky told Boyd’s father and manager, John Boyd, in an Aug. 31 email made available to The Epoch Times.
“And as a result, we unfortunately will not be able to invite Victoria to perform the national anthem at this year’s Kickoff game,” Dudowsky said.
The defending Super Bowl-champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ home field is Raymond James Stadium, an open-air venue. The 2021 season-opening game is to be played against the Dallas Cowboys.
“The NFL’s Game Day Field Access Policy requires that all individuals accessing the playing field and surrounding sideline areas within the stadium bowl (including individuals involved in game presentation elements such as the singer of the national anthem) be fully vaccinated.
“Under the Policy, ‘fully vaccinated’ means 14 days have passed since the individual received the final dose required in the vaccine sequence, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This requirement is mandatory and fully complies with the laws applicable to the type of business relationship contemplated here, and we are not in a position to make an exception,” Budowsky told Boyd in the email.
Dudowsky thus ended weeks of negotiations that initially excited both Boyds because, in addition to a $20,000 performance fee, the occasion provided invaluable national television exposure on one of the NFL’s most-watched games other than the Super Bowl.
The NFL also agreed to cover the travel costs of Boyd and her entourage, “as well as all costs, expenses and fees related to the services of all of Artist’s support personnel in connection with the Performance and all related obligations,” according to a copy of the contract reviewed by The Epoch Times. The contract was the result of the negotiations but had not yet been officially signed by the parties to it.
The 27-year-old singer/songwriter blends soul and folk music and has twice before sung the National Anthem at NFL games. She was a member of the team that produced Kanye West’s Grammy Award-winning “Jesus Is King,” 2020’s top contemporary Christian album.
Boyd was the primary lyricist for the album’s “Closed on Sunday” and “God Is” songs and she made additional contributions to “Water.” Her music is available on the Roc Nation label of Jay-Z.
Her grounds for declining to be vaccinated are rooted in her Christian faith, she told The Epoch Times:
“The Bible admonishes Christians to appreciate their bodies as being sacred and a temple of the Holy Spirit and to not participate in things that can defile the body or render the body dysfunctional.
“I am in prayer to make sure that the Lord guides me into the right decision concerning receiving an unproven injection with artificial properties that can potentially have a longterm effect on my reproductive health.
“If I want to take the vaccine, the decision will be between myself, my doctor and my God. At this point, the Spirit of God is leading me to take a stand for freedom of choice.”
She also told The Epoch Times that she worries the NFL decision to cancel her for not being vaccinated may herald more disheartening restrictions throughout the music and entertainment industries.