The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 in Super Bowl LVII.
When former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem at NFL games, many on the right blasted the outspoken leader for being unpatriotic.
Although many pro athletes followed Kaepernick’s lead by using their platform to address social injustice, many conservative politicians and pundits said that sports should be exempt from politics.
Fox News’ Laura Ingraham then went on to infamously tell LeBron James to shut up and dribble when he spoke up on racial discrimination.
Despite the controversy of sports intersecting with politics, the issue is nothing new.
Decades ago, many liberal Black leaders criticized Michael Jordan for not speaking up enough on political and racial issues.
But if sports and politics should not mix, many political leaders forgot that fact as they used the Super Bowl to score political points with their base.
Many comments made during the big game raised eyebrows from racial and religious comments to statements that many saw as fat shaming.
RegalMag.com has compiled a list of the most politically charged statements made by those supposedly enjoying a sporting event.
Check it out!
Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)—“Something tells me Jesus would *not* spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads to make fascism look benign.” (Reportedly, the Christian group He Gets Us spent $20 million on Super Bowl commercials, which showed Jesus showing love to everyone and criticizing the political divisions in America.)
Jason Vanderground, spokesperson for He Gets Us—“Our research shows that many people’s only exposure to Jesus is through Christians who reflect Him imperfectly, and too often in ways that create a distorted or incomplete picture of his radical compassion and love for others. We believe it’s more important now than ever for the real, authentic Jesus to be represented in the public marketplace as He is in the Bible.” (A statement to Fox News by He Gets Us in response to criticism of its Super Bowl commercials.)
Vanderground—“On multiple occasions, Jesus used the term ‘childlike’ to refer to a humble and trusting attitude. Christians often refer to their faith as childlike, being humble enough to place one’s trust in a power greater than self.” (He Gets Us aired an advertisement encouraging Super Bowl viewers to “be childlike” while showing young children assisting other people and animals without regard to any differences between them.)
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.)—“Chris Stapleton just sang the most beautiful national anthem at the Super Bowl. But we could have gone without the rest of the wokeness.” (Presumably, Greene did not like the including of Sheryl Lee Ralph’s rendition of “Lift Every Voice in Song,” which is known as the Black National Anthem.)
Republican politician Lavern Spicer—“The Black National Anthem is the Star Spangled Banner. The White National Anthem is the Star Spangled Banner. The Mixed National Anthem is the Star Spangled Banner. If you live in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, your National Anthem is the Star Spangled Banner.”
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.)—“American only has ONE NATIONAL ANTHEM. Why is the NFL trying to divide us by playing multiple? Do football, not wokeness.” (Many Republican politicians have misappropriated the term “woke,” which was used to promote Black equality. Many in the Black community believe some White conservatives now use woke as a replacement for Black or a racial slur).
ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman—“Also, of course, two African-American quarterbacks starting against each other in the Super Bowl for the first time. Fittingly, February 12th is Abe Lincoln’s birthday.”
Former news anchor and Arizona gubernatorial candidate, Kari Lake—“I’m against a ‘black National Anthem’ for the same reason I am against a ‘white National Anthem,’ a ‘gay National Anthem,’ a ‘straight National Anthem,’ a ‘Jewish National Anthem,’ a ‘Christian National Anthem,’ and so on. We are ONE NATION, under God. Francis Scott Key’s words ring true for every single American Citizen regardless of their skin color. James Weldon Johnson’s ‘Lift Every Voice’ is a beautiful song, but it is not our National Anthem.” (Lake was shown sitting during Ralph’s performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing”)
Lake—“I’m just here for THE National Anthem.” (Lake tweeted this response to her sitting during the performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” On social media, some conservatives said that they only tuned in to the Super Bowl to hear the National Anthem.)
Fox sports commentator and Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw—“Big guy. Let me get the big guy in here. Come on, waddle over here…Have a cheeseburger on us.” (Bradshaw’s comments to Super Bowl winning coach Andy Reed of the Kansas City Chiefs in reference to Reed’s size and propensity for cheeseburgers.)
The Grio columnist Hillary Crosley Coker—“Rihanna didn’t do the performance for me, a Black woman, and representation will not save us. I’d rather she say the protest against violence wasn’t loud enough for her to forgo the spotlight of Super Bowl halftime stage and the 28.5 million viewers it provided. From her Fenty lines to her music—and soon another child—Rihanna has things to do and bills to pay. But if you’re going to sell us out with fizzy pop fun and gingerly exacted choreography, at least be honest about it.” (The pop star once said that she would not perform at the Super Bowl out of solidarity with Kaepernick, who protested police brutality by kneeling during the National Anthem will playing for the 49ers.)