First of all, some back story: The American NFL Super Bowl is one of the most anticipated events in the world, not just because the American football is a well-loved sport, but also because the half time show raises the bar in concert performances and shows every year.
However, the NFL sparked major controversy last year, when it suspended San Francisco 49ers quarterback , Colin Kaepernick for refusing to stand during the National Anthem.
He had explained at the time that he was doing this in protest of what he deemed were wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.
To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder,” he had told the NFL media.
Many celebrities stood with Kaepernick at the time and eventually began pushing for a boycott of the NFL, and invariably, many artistes declined to perform at the Half Time show.
Celebrities who publicly declined included Cardi B, Rihanna, Jay-Z, among others. Many other celebrities also spoke out on social media against the injustice of the suspended footballer, rallying support for the player and calling for a boycott of the Super Bowl.
Nike also recruited him for an ad that read: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. Just Do It.”
Eventually, the Super Bowl, after receiving the declination of many artistes, settled for Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi for the half time show.
Travis Scott noted, however, that he was only going to perform if his proceeds from the show would go to a charity organisation of his choice.
Other artistes, including Chloe X Halle, as well as Gladys Knight were also part of the show.
True to their words, many celebrities did boycott the Super Bowl.
Ava DuVernay posted: “I will not be a spectator, viewer or supporter of the Super Bowl today in protest of the NFL’s racist treatment of Kaepernick and its ongoing disregard for health + well bein gof all its players. To watch the game is to compromise my beliefs. Its not worth it #ImWithKap.”
Jesse Williams posted: “Y’all finished Or are y’all done? #ImWithKap on and off the internets.”
Fellow sportsman, Steph Curry also posted up a photo with his baby, where he was wearing a shirt with #ImWithKap written on it with the caption: “New season! Y’all know what to do… “
Nick Cannon posted: “I’m not watching… Did they finally put some respect on it and let @JanetJackson perform??? BTW Im still mad about this shit too, blatant disrespect to the Queen who had to take all the blame! 🤬 #ThisIsAmerica #ImWithKap ✊🏾 “
Donnie Wahlberg posted on his twitter: “Its #BlackHistoryMonth. The #SuperBowl in in #Atlanta. Home of #Multiple #HistoricBlackColleges and #HBCU Marching Bands. On #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay and the #HalfTime show features … A white headline act? A mostly white marching band and a white man’s n*pples? #WTF?”
Bow Wow, Diddy and JD were all spotted having a day of fun away from the Super Bowl, showing their stance to boycott the game.
An American Newspaper posted on its front page: “Super Bowl? What Super Bowl?”
So yeah, it looks like the boycott was real… or was it?
As the event held this year, many people, mostly black, have been calling out “what happened to the call for a boycott of the 2019 Super Bowl?”
This question arose on social media, because many celebrities were seen having fun at the event, while others posted up on their social media.
Jamie Foxx was seen eating and having fun at the event.
American rapper, Ceelo Green also posted his support for Big Boi’s performance at the Super Bowl on his Twitter.
Kylie Jenner, whose boo, Travis Scott performed also posted up as she and their daughter, Stormi rocked to Scott’s performance as they watched from home.
This led to rapper, Papoose calling them out in a social media post. he wrote: “So the NFL boycott is over? Y’all fake as hell. SMH.”
This begs the question, did these celebrities forget about Colin Kaepernick’s cause? Or did they only pay lip service to the boycott at the time?
Did they even mean any of the things they said in the past? While everyone is entitled to their own views and opinions about life, it is only reasonable to stand with your people when they are fighting for a cause that would help make life better for your kind… right?
The fact, though is that it is easy to follow trends and be “seen” as being supportive of a cause from afar, until the time comes to defend the cause and then your true loyalty is tested.
It must also be noted that sometimes, it pays to be diplomatic with a situation than direct and outright negative.
Travis Scott for one, decided to perform at the Super Bowl and donate the proceeds to a black charity. That is diplomacy.
Meanwhile, others still believe in the ‘not-too-forceful’ method of protesting a cause. Gladys Knight may be one of such celebrities in this category, as she made an announcement after she accepted to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. She said:
“I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good… I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us.”
Basically, everyone has a motive. Just judge not, that you may not be judged. So anyway, what is your opinion of the #ImWithKap and the #SuperBowlBoyCott? Should the celebrities have boycotted the Super Bowl no matter what? Or are they free to express their beliefs the way they prefer to?