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Melissa Etheridge excited to sing national anthem at Chiefs vs. Steelers game at Arrowhead

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Grammy-award winning musician Melissa Etheridge — a native of Leavenworth, Kan. — says it’s a dream come true for her to sing the national anthem at the Chiefs v. Steelers game at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

The Kansas City Chiefs will dedicate Sunday’s game to the ‘Crucial Catch’ campaign, which focuses on ‘catching’ cancer early with early detection and risk reduction to ultimately defeat it.

The Chiefs, along with the American Cancer Society will also honor seven local survivors of the disease – each of which battled a different type of cancer. The survivors are: Corina Ramirez (colon cancer), Samantha Hardisty (breast cancer), Kristina Traughber (cervical), Donald Hall (prostate), Bettye Givens (lung), Tim Grimes (melanoma) and Aiden Burkhart (sarcoma).

Melissa Etheridge is a cancer survivor herself. In 2004, at age 43, she discovered a lump in her breast.  The cancer was also present in a lymph node. She had a lumpectomy; doctors removed 15 lymph nodes, and she underwent chemotherapy.

The Crucial Catch campaign has raised more than $18 million for the American Cancer Society since 2009.

Of course, the protests over racial injustice by NFL players during the national anthem have sparked discussion and criticism. During the game against the Los Angeles Chargers in September, several Chiefs players chose to quietly protest during the anthem. Cornerback Marcus Peters took a knee, along with receiver Chris Conley, tight end Travis Kelce and defensive lineman Chris Jones. Linebacker Justin Houston kneeled on both knees.

The Friday before that game, President Trump suggested NFL teams should fire or bench players that refuse to stand for the national anthem.

In their post-game news conference on Monday, coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith defended their teammates actions. Click here for their comments.

The game starts at 3:25 p.m. CT. Pittsburgh is 3-2 going into Sunday’s game. The Chiefs are 5-0, hoping for 6-0.