Even before the game began, there was already a racial feud brewing when the NFL’s media credential process was called out for lack of media diversity, in particular ensuring media equality for Black-owned media outlets, especially Black-owned publications like San Francisco Bay View, the oldest Black-owned radio station, K-POO-FM and others. (See full report here)
BlacksinHollywood.com’s Timeline of Racist Events
January 29, 2016
Protesters of every age and race gathered to bring awareness to the senseless murder of Mario Woods, who was killed by five San Fransisco police officers in an event so heinous that the FBI, US Justice Department and others are already investigating. Unfortunately, the protesters were met by about 400 police officers who quickly declared their protest unlawful.
None of this makes CNN, the NFL feed or CBS’ website. It was a purposeful blackout of information that would have been more widely reported if Black-owned media outlets had been approved for media credentials.
February 1, 2016 (Media Day)
Super Bowl Media Day kicks off with Cam Newton saying, “I’m a Black quarterback and your worse nightmare.”
February 2, 2016
Alicia Keys stopped her free Super Bowl concert to say, “Black Lives Matter.” Giving a nod to the “Black Mom Movement” to stop the attack on Black kids, Alicia Keys elaborated on her support of #BLM by saying, “As mother of two Black sons, it breaks my heart to see boys gunned down.”
Alicia’s full speech: “I understand we have some protesters here,” she began, referring to those involved with the Mario Woods protest. “I want you to know I salute and encourage everyone with the courage to stand up for what they believe in. Black lives matter, and we all of every color need to come together to end systemic racism,” she added. “Karma is a b—,” she as her song “Karma,” began to play. It was a popular son from Keys’ sophomore 2003 album, “The Diary of Alicia Keys.”
February 7, 2016 (Super Bowl Sunday)
White America literally fainted, grabbed the remote and covered their kids’ ears when Beyonce’s Super Bowl Halftime song included these lyrics: “My daddy Alabama. Mama Louisiana. You mix that Negro with that Creole make a Texas bama” and told Black people they could be “a Black Bill Gates.” Nearly all of the lyrics in the controversial song, “Formation,” have social media buzzing. She then talks about baby hair and Afros, which is about as Black as you can possibly get.
Beyonce’s half time show was a “Black thang” that few outside the community will fully understand. For example, she pays tribute to Historical Black Colleges and Univestities (HBCUs) with her “ooh la la girl” energy and attire. Her back up dancers all dressed like the lead character of Spike Lee’s “Chiraq” and there was a ladies versus fellas dance battle straight from the movie. Using the movie drumline break beats, Beyonce topped it off by saying, “I got hot sauce in my purse.” Even Bruno Mars’ fellas paid homage to Black History Month by rocking 90s hip hop attire complete with moves straight from the juke joint. If that wasn’t enough, Beyonce’s dancers then recorded a video on the Super Bowl field holding a sign that read, “Justice 4 Mario Woods” and putting a Black fist to the sky.
Beyonce even managed to knock Kanye off the “workout video” top slot because repeating just two minutes of her routine would be a full workout. It was a great performance for Black History Month.
With some of the positive things that happened – but were ignored or not reported by the NFL or mainstream media like NBC, CBS and others – it’s clear to see that more work is needed and there has to be a series of in-person sit downs to demand that the NFL and all major league sports support MEDIA EQUALITY.