The NFL's Anti-Racism Super Bowl Commercial Was Wildly Hypocritical And Tone Deaf

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Super Bowl

Like every Super Bowl that has happened in the past, most people love to pay special attention to the commercials that stream in between the games. People will rank them in accordance from best to worst.

Most of the commercials are lighthearted and funny, eliciting laughs and maybe sometimes nostalgia but during this year's Super Bowl, one commercial seemed to bring out hoards of criticism.

The NFL aired a commercial called “Inspire Change,” which is a pretty hypocritical stance coming from an organization that has actively fought against activism on their field. You can watch the commercial in its entireity below. 

The commercial features clips from the Black Lives Matter protests that happened over the summer, and images of the NFL's supposed fight to end systemic racism.

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That sentiment seems like such a slap in the face, especially given the NFL's past behavior toward Colin Kaepernick. 

Kaepernick’s vocal opposition to police brutality against Black people — as expressed by him taking a knee during the national anthem in 2016 — had him kicked off of his team and even out of the league entirely.

Kaepernick’s infamous kneeling has since been used as a common form of protest by other athletes since — and even during the Black Lives Matter protests that the NFL so richly showed in their commercial.

But excuse me if I find the NFL's sudden exclamation of donating money to end systemic racism rather tone deaf and hypocritical. 

If the NFL was so concerned with Black equality and standing up for what’s right and just, they would’ve since offered an apology to Kaepernick — or even better, they wouldn’t even have kicked him out of the league in the first place.

But before we can talk about Colin Kaepernick, we should talk about Tom Brady. 

He won his seventh Super Bowl ring last night and yet, most have overlooked Brady's very public statement voicing his support for Donald Trump in 2015.

It’s sentiments like Brady's (sentiments by a white, privileged man that are met with little resistance) — along with the NFL's treatment Kaepernick — that make it hard for me to believe the league cares much about Black people in general.

Because if they truly did, then there would be Black ownership over NFL teams, there would be more Black head NFL coaches, and they would’ve made amends with Kaepernick in some kind of official capacity.

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The NFL even had an opportunity in their commercial to dedicate their $250 million campaign to ending systemic racism to Kaepernick, or even acknowledge his activism.

They did neither.

Their Super Bowl commercial is such a slap in the face to not only Black people but activists in general. Activists should be the first people that the NFL should’ve put in their commercial. They should not be left out of any conversations that pertain to systemic racism.

If the NFL is really concerned with making a difference when it comes to racism in this country — and they are actively trying to seek out ways to helpfull add to the conversation — then they should ponder how their own system has hindered racial inequality.

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They can’t just push a big ‘ole check and assume people won’t forget all of the discrepancies and hypocrisies that plague the entire NFL.

A check won’t fix anything. It's a temporary bandage on a problem that needs to be rebuilt.

Their “inspiring change” commercial was simply a poor marketing attempt, and an even poorer step towards racial justice. 

If the NFL wanst to make an actual difference, it starts first with accountability and making amends with the many Black people they’ve cast aside. 

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Chicago. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram