INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Week 18 marked the Rams' Inspire Change game, part of the NFL highlighting its year-round social justice initiative.
And they had a special performer on hand who uses his voice to do just that in 14-year-old singer Keedron Bryant, who sang the National Anthem prior to Sunday's game against the 49ers at SoFi Stadium and also performed at halftime along with Watts native Stix.
Bryant gained prominence in 2020 through the performance of his first single, "I JUST WANNA LIVE," released following the murder of George Floyd in police custody. Written by his mother Johnnetta Bryant, it was first shared as a solo, smartphone-shot performance and spoke to the systemic injustices faced by the Black community, eventually reaching 4 million views on Instagram in less than a month. Keedron signed with Warner Records in June 2020.
"It was all around the death of George Floyd and the tragic deaths that was happening around 2020 of racism and police brutality," Bryant said prior to Sunday's game. "My mom just really had that song from God. She wrote it in a day, she gave it to me, and she told me to make a video. We recorded it and we posted it, and it just blessed a lot of people around the world. It just really makes me so proud that it really is just touching people's lives and is really made to inspire people that we have hope and love in this world, and just to give people faith to keep on fighting for what is right."
As reflected by the year-round Inspire Change efforts, the fight for social justice is not over, with plenty more work to be done.
"I think that there is still a lot of change that needs to be made in this world in ways of just equality and freedom in all different races, that we can love each other as a whole world and not divide each other up and segregate us," Keedron said. "Just to have peace and happiness and joy, so we won't just get into this racism and a lot of stuff that's happening in the world. Just to bring the light and shine too."
Bryant inspires change through his music, but there are many ways people can help the cause.
"You can protest, you can write books, you can also make music, because music tells a story and whatever you write, people definitely be blessed and touched by it," Bryant said. "So whatever your gift is, use it and it will definitely inspire others."