The Washington Commanders football team is including American Sign Language performers during the National Anthem before all its home games this season. This is believed to be the first time that a National Football League team has included American Sign Language (ASL) performers in its pre-game show for an entire season.

Darrius Doe, ’18, Alumni Relations Specialist in the Office of Alumni Relations, performed Francis Scott Key’s Star-Spangled Banner and the new Commanders fight song before the team’s preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers on August 13. He signed alongside vocalist Kelsee Kimmel, a renowned stage actress. Amy McDonald served as the interpreter for the pre-game rehearsal and performance.

Tara Miles, ’97, G-’01, & G-’15, family education manager at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, performed the National Anthem at the team’s first regular season home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 11. She performed with the team’s marching band, with JaRon Gilchrist interpreting.
ASL performers and interpreters have been scheduled for the eight remaining home games between September 25 and January 8. Arrangements were made through Robert Weinstock in the Office of University Communications.

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