It seems that very little can transpire in our society these days without politics being injected into the mix. That includes sports, which seem to become more and more politicized every year, and that especially includes the Super Bowl.
I didn’t watch the game this year. I really have no interest in either the Patriots or the Falcons. I used to like Tom Brady, but the whole “Deflategate” thing last year changed my opinion of him. And when I heard that Lady Gaga’s halftime show would include some social justice warrior message, I decided that there are better ways for me to spend my time. Last year’s show, which included Beyonce’s salute to BLM and the Black Panthers, was bad enough for me.
I heard later that the whole Lady Gaga/social justice thing was inaccurate (good for her), but I still don’t feel that I missed anything – I can catch the halftime show on YouTube if I so desire.
But if the politicization of football wasn’t aggravating enough, the amount of butthurt flying around social media is vomit-inducing.
Let’s start with The Left.
Initial reports indicated that Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show would include a message of “equality” and “inclusion.” Everyone, it seems, took this to mean “preachy SJW message.”
But it seems that, rather than giving a preachy SJW message, Lady Gaga chose to give a real message about equality and inclusion. She sang her song “Born This Way.” She stood before an American flag made of light-up drones. She recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Her performance was very well received, and decidedly un-controversial…and now, the lack of controversy is itself a controversy.
A variety of left-leaning news outlets, along with various hashtag-warriors, chose to criticize Lady Gaga for not taking the opportunity to turn the Super Bowl halftime show into a platform to bash Donald Trump…because, as all left-wing social justice warriors know, the path to unity lies in Trump-bashing.
But let’s not leave out The Right.
About all the Left has to complain about today is that the Super Bowl wasn’t anti-Trump enough for them. But the SJWs on the Right seem to have plenty of material.
It was pretty well established over the course of the last year that, as much as the Right enjoys making fun of liberal snowflakes, with their speech codes, safe spaces, and fear of micro-aggressions, the Right has a safe space of their own: football.
Black Lives Matter was constantly (and rightly) criticized for its for its penchant for violent protests and blocking freeways…and encouraging cop killing. But when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kapernick chose a peaceful way to protest, by sitting or kneeling through the National Anthem, he was instantly lit up by the right wing.
While there was plenty to criticize about Kapernick’s message, the brunt of the criticism ended up being about his method. Here was a young black man protesting peacefully (albeit misguidedly), which conservatives had been calling for from the black community for some time, yet his method of protest was deemed politically incorrect, and denounced by the Right. Trevor Noah made a great point when he asked Tomi Lahren “What is the right way for a black person to get attention in America?” The Right seems to want to have it both ways. First, make sure your protests are non-violent. Second, make sure your non-violent protests don’t offend any of my social or cultural sensibilities.
The message was clear: you’re only allowed to protest in a way that I can easily ignore. Don’t do it during my NFL, and don’t do it during my anthem.
And then, on Super Bowl Sunday, there was this:
Apparently, the spot that aired during the Super Bowl was just the first 30-ish seconds, with a “see the full story at our website” lead-out. After all, a 30-second spot is expensive enough, and this “journey” is nearly 6 minutes long.
Right-wing media went ballistic, accusing 84 Lumber of endorsing illegal immigration, of purposefully using this manufactured tale of a woman and her daughter to get people emotionally on-board with the Left and their opposition to Trump’s wall, and continued permissiveness toward illegal immigration.
There’s just one problem…the head of 84 Lumber is a big-time Trump supporter, and modeled the wall in his company’s video after Trump’s own campaign statements: he wants a “big, beautiful door in that wall.”
And let’s face it: we need a wall to keep our nation secure, but we also need a guest worker program to keep things like our agriculture industry viable. A lot of people (on both sides) who talk about immigration don’t realize just how difficult it is to come to America. And while it shouldn’t be easy, we should have mechanisms in place for cheap labor, where cheap labor is needed in our economy.
But the bottom line is, when the Right freaked out over the 84 Lumber ad, they freaked out over nothing. The pro-illegal-immigration narrative that fed the criticism of the ad wasn’t based in logic or reality, it was just a knee-jerk reaction based on an incorrect assumption.
This is what happens when politics intrudes into the safe space…just one more reason to keep politics out of football, I guess.