Superbowl halftime show showcases hypocrisy of NFL

Patrick Done, News Editor

Superbowl 56 in Los Angeles ended with the home team, the Los Angeles Rams, being crowned Super Bowl champions. However, like most Super Bowls, the Superbowl halftime show garnered as much attention as the game itself. This halftime show featured a star-studded cast of Los Angeles rap icons. Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, 50 cent, Mary J Blige, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem all performed at the show. With classics like “California Love,” “In Da Club,” “Lose Yourself” and “Still D.R.E.” being performed, the show was hailed as one of the best Superbowl halftime shows of all time. As a member of Gen Z, I found the Super Bowl halftime show less impactful than my millennial and Gen X family. But, the sheer star power present on the stage made the show a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The halftime show also had tremendous cultural significance, highlighting the Black culture of Los Angeles. The show featured an almost all-Black cast of singers and dancers, a first in Superbowl history. The pregame show also featured Black female singers, with Mickey Guyton singing the national anthem and Jhene Aiko singing “America The Beautiful.” However, the Superbowl as a whole has been the center of considerable controversy, with strong anti-police messaging being present through the halftime show. Eminem also kneeled during his portion of the halftime performance, supporting Colin Kaepernick, the former N.F.L. quarterback who was panned after he kneeled during the National Anthem. 

The halftime show’s support of social justice stands in stark contrast to the actions of the N.F.L. and Los Angeles County. The N.F.L. is currently being sued for discrimination by former Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores, and L.A. County made a clear effort to clear homeless encampments around the stadium in preparation for the game. The hypocrisy of the N.F.L. promoting an anti-establishment message while being controlled primarily by old white billionaires is almost laughable. If the N.F.L. wants to create meaningful change, it must start at the top.