A Brief History
On February 13, 2022, ironically during Black History Month, the National Football League is making a mockery of American society by featuring ill-advised radical and divisive racial aspects to the sport they like to think of as our “National Pastime.” We call upon all decent Americans to send a strong message to the NFL by boycotting this year’s Super Bowl halftime show.
A lot of the substance for our displeasure with the NFL stems from the “entertainment” scheduled for half-time and some of the ads to be aired during the game, one of which is actually an NFL ad that perpetuates the myth that American police are gunning down African Americans for “no reason,” completely ignoring the facts in the individual cases and the overwhelming fact that the vast majority of murders committed against African Americans are done by other African Americans. The NFL disingenuously blames the police for the troubles of African Americans, instead of focusing on progressive measures such as reduction of poverty and improving education.
Another ad in incredibly poor taste is by a candidate for the US Senate in which he has a shootout with President Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Mark Kelly. (You may recall Kelly’s wife, former Representative to Congress Gabrielle Giffords was shot and severely wounded by a mass shooter.)
At a time when the United States is divided more than any time since the Civil War, when crime is skyrocketing, when inflation runs rampant and Congress refuses to pass beneficial legislation based on rigid party line stances, the NFL is throwing gasoline on the fire of division by featuring a rendition of the “Black National Anthem” before the Super Bowl. Are we not ONE country made up of Americans? Honoring Black, African American citizens and their many contributions to society is NOT done by creating the impression that African Americans are somehow a separate society in the US. (Click on the link to see some of our many articles honoring African American contributions to our society.) ALL Americans can fit under the broad banner of our flag, our anthem, and our unique and wonderful Constitution.
Here are some links to information about the police hating and violence inducing “art” produced by the entertainers for half-time. These controversial rappers are in some instances actually endorsing KILLING police officers! (I mean seriously! What if the police produced similar songs about Black people?) This list of links is NOT all complete, just a sample…
Snoop Dogg: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/snoopdogg/police.html, https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/feb/9/super-bowl-halftime-performer-snoop-dogg-appears-n/, and https://beelyrics.net/music/46-snoop-dogg/39093-fuck-tha-police-lyrics.html
Remember, the NFL also brought us an inflammatory performance by Beyoncé back in 2016 and the entire fiasco about kneeling for the National Anthem. (Again, seriously, you do not have a right to “free speech” when you are at work wearing the company uniform, at least not on almost every other job!) The NFL is currently facing accusations of paying lip service to the hiring of African American coaches and executives and several players continue to besmirch the aura of hero worship accorded those great athletes. (We DO NOT make any sort of blanket condemnation of NFL players or imply the group is tainted by the few bad apples, just that the NFL needs to do something about its culture to minimize such egregious behavior.)
Feel free to agree or disagree with this article, and you are welcome to give us all your opinions in the comments.
Question for students (and subscribers): Which team do you think will win the big game? Why? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Nielson, Erik and Andrea Dennis. Rap on Trial: Race, Lyrics, and Guilt in America. The New Press, 2019.
Viator, Felicia. To Live and Defy in LA: How Gangsta Rap Changed America. Harvard University Press, 2020.