A Conflicted Superbowl Fan: Morals Over Entertainment

Growing up in a relatively small city, I dreamed of living in place where the city doesn’t sleep. Where there was always a party, where there was always something to do. But as I grew older, I realized why my parents settled in a place that had the hustle and bustle BUT also had an escape route. While Little Rock was that for them, Atlanta was that place for me. Being in Atlanta definitely has brought me face to face with some great events and phenomenal past times that are exclusive to the Atlanta culture.

The most event current event that has taken over the city is the Superbowl. This is literally one of the biggest games on earth happening right outside my dorm room. And I did not feel any excitement, not one ounce.

While the excitement of the game and all the parties and celebrities that come with it is very alluring, I was not participating in any of the shenanigans. My moral compass will not allow me.  While I was never into football, when the Colin Kaepernick protest began to transpire, that was the end of any support I gave to the NFL. It was then when I knew it was time for me to stop saying the pledge of allegiance as well as singing the national anthem. Me and my other fellow cheer captains began to kneel during the national anthem during the games, (Shout out to TayeKaye from Tuskegee, Nicole from University of Arkansas,  and Dominique and Shamaria from Jackson State). Even though we got threatened by multiple students, parents, and even our own administration, from that moment on we never participated in the National Anthem again.

 Fast Forward two years later, as a  student at my Historically Black University, I feel even stronger about what Colin Kaepernick stands for and have a strict no interaction policy with the NFL. Up until now, I thought most of the West End was on the same page, considering there was a large beautiful mural of Colin Kaepernick right across the street from the Atlanta Universit Center. 

THEY TORE IT DOWN RIGHT BEFORE THE SUPERBOWL. It hurt. What I once thought was not a big deal, just a beautiful mural with a positive message was convicted and stripped away from the community. A community that I am learning to love, and to some of the locals, all they’ve ever known. To me, this was a very intentional act of disrespect for the black community that the NFL is inconveniencing and displacing. By partying, buying merchandise, and participating in these events I feel like we’re tolerating the disrespect of Colin Kaepernick and everything he stands for. Great job, Atlanta.

Sincerely, A Conflicted Superbowl Fan