As the Super Bowl festivities began, 500 people gathered at Hermann Park in Houston. They marched through the street cutting a path straight towards NRG Stadium, where the Patriots faced off against the Falcons.
This is Super Bowl LI; but, in the era of Trump, politics overshadows everything.
Before the big game, many football fans lamented the fact that they’d be subject to something of this nature. While everyone knew the Super Bowl would not escape the current political climate, most expected the statements to come from Lady Gaga. Conservative commentator Bill Whyttle even appeared on NRA TV to complain about the choice of halftime entertainment:
“Once again they’ve chosen a gigantic progressive mouthpiece for their Super Bowl halftime… I think if Lady Gaga comes out there and makes this an anti-Trump tirade, I think that’s really the final step of the declaration of war between our pop culture people and the actual citizens. This is not the Kennedy Awards. This isn’t the Oscars. This is the Super Bowl where real Americans get together and have a real fun day and the last thing they want to hear is how stupid and racist they are.”
Well, Gaga delivered no such message. The most political she got was singing “America the Beautiful” and “This Land is Our Land” in front of American flag imagery. But Gaga didn’t have to get political, because everyone else did instead.
With Brady and Belicheck both accused of endorsing Trump, the Patriots have managed to position themselves as the alt-right’s favorite football team. In fact, “White nationalist” poster boy Richard Spencer spent the whole evening on Twitter ruining New England’s reputation:
I believe the words you’re looking for are: “Ugh… Gross“
But the politics came from both sides. This year’s commercials were seemingly steeped in anti-Trump rhetoric. Google‘s ad was filled with rainbow flags and multicultural imagery:
This 84 Lumber commercial told the story of an immigrant family struggling to make it across the border:
And this ad for It’s A 10 Hair Care really speaks for itself:
It was an interesting sign of things to come, and it sent a clear message: If the right believed that electing Trump would somehow quiet the “SJWs” or depolarize the nation, they certainly seem to have miscalculated something.