Solidarity in The Superbowl

Nevin Perkins, Op/Ed Editor

As another football season has come to a close, we cannot help but acknowledge that Colin Kaepernick, who protested against police brutality in 2016, has been exiled from the National Football League (NFL). This Super bowl appeared to hold more weight on the pressure of standing with Kaepernick or just choosing a side in general. The controversy reawakened when Travis Scott accepted the offer to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. Many high-ranking individuals from the Hip-Hop community spoke out against Scott’s decision including Jay-Z and Meek Mill. Jay-Z stated that he reached out to Scott to encourage him to decline the offer. Kaepernick has received monumental support from rappers, singers, podcasters, journalists, and even talk show hosts.

The next tragedy arrived when Gladys Knight agreed to perform the national anthem of the Super Bowl. This caused an even greater divide due to Knight’s remarkable career and her willingness to stand up for the rights of blacks in America. Many felt that Knight has earned the right to not be questioned on her actions. Others, however, are disappointed because her performance is exactly what Kaepernick would have taken a knee during. Despite the controversy, the NFL has remained an unwavering force in their stance against Kaepernick and his movement. They did, however, find time to invite Dr. Martin Luther King’s daughter Bernice King, civil rights leader Andrew Young, and Congressman John Lewis to do the coin toss. Although King stated she accepted the invitation to promote and spread more unity, it is clear the NFL was looking for a way to clean up its image with pandering and meaningless symbolism.

The silver lining in all of this is that the Super Bowl ratings were at a 10 year low, an achievement being celebrated by activists across the nation. Colin Kaepernick’s career is advocating for an issue deeply embedded in our nation. If we support his advocacy, the least we can do is turn off our televisions.