We saw the darkest Super Bowl ever, and it was incredible

1 month ago Naija News

Let’s be brutally honest for a moment, the NFL hasn’t exactly been a shining example of diversity, inclusion, and racial equality throughout its almost 103-year history.

Coming into the 2022 season, there were only four Black head coaches, Mike Tomlin (who has been the Steelers head coach since 2007) Mike McDaniels, Todd Bowles and Lovie Smith out of the 32 NFL teams, despite the fact that about 57.5% of all NFL players are African-American.

This is also the same league that blackballed Colin Kaepernick for protesting against police brutality, has a current lawsuit from Brian Flores for racial discrimination, and just recently agreed to end race-based brain testing in its $1 billion dollar settlement on concussions in 2021.

The NFL clearly has a mountain of work to do before anyone that is Black can feel good about its current business practices, and there’s little reason to believe any meaningful or impactful changes are actually on the horizon.

With all that said, for one evening, the Super Bowl was Blacker than it’s ever been, and most likely ever will be, and it was amazing.

We came into the night already aware that this was the first time in NFL history that two Black quarterbacks would be facing off against each other, and both Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes delivered a phenomenal football game.

Jalen Hurts was so spectacular he ended up breaking or tying multiple records. He broke the record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a Super Bowl in the third quarter, became the second player in Super Bowl history to score three rushing touchdowns, and became the first player in NFL history to rush for two touchdowns and throw for another in a Super Bowl.

However, for as great as Jalen Hurts was, Patrick Mahomes still came out on top. The Chiefs superstar once again led his team to victory in the Super Bowl by throwing three touchdown passes and making critical plays with his legs in spite of a high ankle sprain. He became the seventh player to win MVP, the Super Bowl and Super Bowl MVP in the same season and is the first Black quarterback to reach this milestone.

They actual game turned out to be just the tip of this African-American iceburg.

Before the Super Bowl even started Sheryl Lee Ralph, of Moesha and Abbot Elementary fame, absolutely DESTROYED the Black national anthem ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing.’ She put her foot into every single note of this, and you’d be hard pressed to find a better rendition.

Which led us to the performance, and for many the highlight, of the night: Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime performance.

She absolutely destroyed it. It was one of the best Super Bowl halftime performances I can remember and reminded everyone just how talented and special she is at making music. The most new music we’ve gotten from her were two songs on the ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ soundtrack last year, so to hear her remind us how many hits and classic songs she’s given us over the years was amazing.

Her setlist was flawless and opening it with ‘B*tch Better Have My Money’ was clearly the correct decision. The NFL clearly thought so too.

To have all of these moments in the Super Bowl, during Black History Month no less, was just as refreshing as they were entertaining. It’s important for Black people to get these opportunities to give us these memorable moments during, arguably, the biggest event in all of the United States of America.

Hopefully we start to see more Black people in front offices and head coach positions around the NFL too.

Credit: https://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2023/2/13/23589713/blackest-super-bowl-nfl-history-chiefs-eagles-rihanna-babyface

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