you can feel there is energy in the air in the united states for this year’s super bowl. the 2021 game in florida had a reduced capacity due to pandemic rules.
Sunday’s game between the la rams and the cincinnati bengals will be played in front of 70,000 spectators at sofi stadium, a new $5 billion (€4.4 billion) stadium in los angeles, california. local heroes snoop dogg, dr. dre and kendrick lamar will host a halftime show.
Reading: Boycott the super bowl 2021
on paper, the super bowl is ready to deliver. In a world of pandemics, culture wars, and geopolitical uncertainty, it should provide a few hours of respite from our complicated lives.
However, Sunday’s game will be played under huge, low social clouds.
accusations of institutional racism in the nfl
First of all, just a few days ago, in a New York court, Brian Flores, a former National Football League coach, filed a lawsuit accusing the NFL of racist hiring practices. The complaint centered on what Flores called a “sham” interview to satisfy an affirmative action policy and equated the NFL with a “plantation.” There have been 500 head coaches in NFL history, 24 of them have been black, and Flores is one of them. he is a highly regarded and successful coach and the accusations of him are incendiary and depressing.
It is worth reading this passage from his complaint in full:
“owners watch the games from the top of nfl stadiums in their luxury boxes, while their largely black workforce puts their bodies on the line every Sunday, taking brutal hits and sustaining debilitating injuries in their bodies and brains while the nfl and their owners make billions of dollars.”
millionaires in the city of the homeless
flores is right to highlight the wealth of the nfl’s billionaire owners. That reveals the next glaring problem facing this year’s Super Bowl: disgusting social inequality.
Sure, it’s not the first time sport has embraced the rich at the expense of the poor. the olympic games in london and rio or the upcoming soccer world cup in qatar immediately come to mind. but does that mean it should be ignored?
What makes this year’s Super Bowl a harrowing event is its location. As a result of the complete lack of affordable housing, Los Angeles is facing a staggering homeless crisis. A short drive from SOFI Stadium is Skid Row, an infamous homeless neighborhood that stretches about 60 blocks. a recent survey found that more than a third of people in the county have personally experienced homelessness or know someone who has, showing the sheer volume of people affected by it.
With that in mind, digest the fact that the average ticket price for Sunday’s game is almost $9,000 (Є7,900) and more than 1,500 private jets are expected to arrive for the game. Private jet industry sources told dw that these people bring valuable money to the local economy, but the sight of VIPs passing through Los Angeles’ homeless neighborhoods with their tinted windows is disgusting.
enjoy the game, but don’t ignore the problems
Meanwhile, man-made climate change casts its shadow over the game. for the first time in california history, heat advisories were issued in february and super bowl lvi could be the hottest on record. as the millionaire spectators soak up the atmosphere at sofi stadium, the engines of their private jets will barely have time to cool down before heading home for work on monday. the impact of these lifestyles on the environment should not be ignored.
Along with Sunday’s game, there are racial, social, and environmental issues that need to be addressed. To emphasize: This is not a call for a boycott, nor is it a desire to cast a shadow over game-goers. But Super Bowl LVI fans should know that it’s not happening in a vacuum. Instead, it stands smack dab in the middle of some of America’s most defining crises and acts as a magnifying glass in each one.