The Super Bowl 53 showdown between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams was played in Atlanta on Sunday but not everyone was keen on watching it.
With NFL player Colin Kaepernick still undeservedly out of job since 2016 after he started kneeling during the national anthem to raise awareness about police brutality against blacks and other racial injustices, scores of people, on the day of one of the biggest sporting events in America, took to social media to announce they were boycotting it to protest the ill-treatment of the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback. Others also used the day to reaffirm their support for him.
Prior to the Super Bowl 53, it was widely reported that some prominent musicians, including Jay-Z, Rihanna and Cardi B turned down offers from the NFL to perform at the halftime show as a way of showing solidarity to Kaepernick.
Finally settling for Maroon 5 as headliners with support from Travis Scott and Big Boi, the NFL further received backlash for not having enough Atlanta based performers on the bill and having a white band headline a show in a city that has a very large African American population.
Speaking with the Associated Press, Cardi B explained why she turned down the NFL’s offer to perform and why her husband was not going to attend.
“My husband, he loves football. His kids play football. It’s really hard for him. … He really wants to go to the Super Bowl, but he can’t go to the Super Bowl, because he’s got to stand for something,” she said.
“You have to sacrifice that,” she went on. “I got to sacrifice a lot of money to perform. But there’s a man who sacrificed his job for us, so we got to stand behind him.”
Take a look at some of the big names who boycotted the sporting event and those who also reaffirmed their support for him:
Film Director Ava DuVernay Tweeted: “I will not be a spectator, viewer or supporter of the #SuperBowl today in protest of the @NFL’s racist treatment of @Kaepernick7 and its ongoing disregard for the health + well-being of all its players. To watch the game is to compromise my beliefs. It’s not worth it. #ImWithKap”
Civil Rights activist Shaun King also said:
“I haven’t watched a single game of football since the @NFL basically banned @Kaepernick7 for taking a peaceful knee for families impacted by police brutality.
I was a super fan, and have so many friends in the league, but I just can’t support a product that has done this.”
Rapper Common also let people know where he stands:
— COMMON (@common) February 3, 2019
Basketball stars Lebron James and Steph Curry also wore Kaepernick’s number 7 jersey.
Actor Jesse Williams also did same:
Nick Cannon tweeted: “#ImWithKap #7Challenge! I am donating $7 to Colin’s Know Your Rights Camp. The number 7 symbolizes Kap’s jersey number. I challenge you to donate $7 to @YourRightsCamp and nominate 7 others to do the same,”
Singer Janelle Monae also co-signed Ava’s boycott by commenting on her Tweet.
“#ImWithKap and have been all season. And the below are just a few reasons why . @ava said it best ! Thank you,”
Author, Charles Blow wrote: “I used to have a small Superbowl party every year, if only for my kids. No more! Not watching anymore. Need to find something black-affirming to do while it’s on. Will probably start reading this book… #MarcusGarvey #ImWithKap”