This Sunday is the Super Bowl. Or just another excuse for Americans to eat and drink themselves into obesity (yes, I will be one of them). And to be honest that’s the only thing I care about for Super Bowl 52, the food. Now I’ve never been the biggest football fan, but I would watch and followed enough to know how the season was going. But this season, I have absolutely no idea what’s going on because I’ve been protesting the NFL. My protest has nothing to do with the flag and whether it’s patriotic to stand for the National Anthem. Because it is our constitutional right to stand, sit, kneel, or skip while the anthem is being played.
I protested because I feel that the NFL is just using the bodies of African-American men but not caring about them as individuals and employees. The NFL did not support their players right to protest the mistreatment of African-Americans, and are now considering having the players stay in the locker room during the National Anthem. In addition to this, they have covered up the seriousness of repeated hits to the head that lead to CTE, a degenerative brain condition.
After Colin Kapernick decided to become a free agent at the end of the 2016-2017 season, no other team signed him. Mind you there were several teams who could have used a new quarterback this season. And that’s why I protested. The treatment of one athlete protesting something that they felt was important to them caused him to be ostracized from the game. A game that he was good at. The President of the United States referred to him as “a son of a bitch.” Add to this the completely unrelated conversation about protesting the national anthem meant to distract us from the real issue of racism in American, and I haven’t been interested.
On top of the protests and the kneeling and the President’s tweets, is this year’s halftime show pick: Justin Timberlake. Ordinarily, this would be a pretty good choice. I like JT. I grew up with him, his music is alright, and he’s a pretty good performer. I’m a little surprised because his time has kind of passed, but it’s cool. However, as we all know Justin has been to the Super Bowl before. He performed at the 2004 Halftime show with Janet Jackson. He infamously pulled off part of her top revealing her breast. Wives all over the country were up in arms because their husband saw a breast that wasn’t theirs. Like nudity is not something that is in every PG-13 movie, give me a break. In the wake of the incident, they both said that he was to remove a part of her costume which would have revealed a covering underneath. They were both ridiculed and rules were implemented and the FCC was investigated and it turned into nipplegate and the world acted like we had never seen a breast before. The issue wasn’t a breast but a black breast. “Nipplegate” negatively affected Janet’s career, but didn’t affect Justin’s.
What happened to Janet Jackson being exposed like that is not something than she planned or wanted. And she got all the blame for it. The assumption was that Justin was a young innocent artist that got caught up in it. Janet a respected artist, who had been performing for many years at this point, lost credibility on the world stage. Two people made that choice, only a black woman was blamed.
With the #MeToo movement and the rise of equality for women, I’m surprised more women aren’t up in arms. She was exposed while she was at work. She was clearly in shock about what happened and not only that, but Janet Jackson had been killing the game for years and she killed her performance. Please go and watch it again. It was politically aware and Justin Timberlake came out and really didn’t add anything to the show. People still judge her for it, but we give him a pass.
With everything that has been happening this year with the NFL and with viewership down I would have hoped they would have picked someone else. Their choice just reinforces my belief that the NFL is not aware of color and if they are, they don’t care. The African-American men who are playing a game to line the pockets of the NFL are not respected and cared for. They should protest and realize that they were the stars of the game. You might have an owner and a boss but no one is tuning in to watch a bunch of old white men run around on a field.
So for these reasons and I’m sure many others, I haven’t been interested. I’m just here for the food. Someone pass me the dip, please?