MSNBC’s Joy Reid blasted the NFL, saying that the league tried to “sanitize blackness” for Sunday’s Super Bowl.
What are the details?
During Monday’s broadcast of “The ReidOut,” Reid took aim at the NFL for its “sport with a lot of black people in it” — but “not black people with power.”
The show opened with a discussion about rapper Eminem’s Super Bowl halftime appearance, which he concluded by kneeling in apparent nod to former NFL player turned activist Colin Kaepernick’s police brutality protests.
Reid — wearing a pro-Kaepernick football jersey — said that while she noted the rapper’s “performative” gesture, the league itself is suppressing “blackness.”
“I wasn’t particularly moved by [the rapper’s kneeling] one way or another, it’s that kind of performative change,” she said. “If somebody had come out on stage and Colin Kaepernick had been dressed as one of the dancers who came out, or shout-out to Brian Flores, then I would have thought that would have been a bigger impact. At this point, taking a knee is not nearly as provocative as it was five years ago.”
Reid added that the NFL is only aiming to “sanitize blackness” in order to keep the peace with its conservative fan base.
“The NFL has always tried to sanitize blackness, especially during the Super Bowl, from the halftime performances to players taking a knee, and it especially does not want to dabble in the culture wars now and tick off the conservative fan base,” Reid complained.
Guest Jason Johnson interjected, “Which explains why [rapper] Kendrick Lamar’s line ‘and we hate the popo’ was noticeably scrubbed last night.”
Reid added that she no longer has love for football over allegations of racism in the league.
“I fell out of love with the game because it just became very clear that this was a sport with a lot of black people in it but not black people with power,” she said. “No coaches, very few people allowed to get into the quarterback spot. And that coach thing really hurts my spirit, and it’s difficult for me to love the game. Anything that these guys do that is disruptive, I’m for it.”
President Joe Biden on Sunday made similar remarks, claiming that the league should be concerned over a lack of black coaches — two out of 32 NFL coaches are black — in the sport.
He told NBC’s Lester Holt that the NFL ought to work to remedy the racial imbalance and promote coaching equity and diversity.
“The whole idea that a league that is made up of so many athletes of color, as well as so diverse, that there’s not enough African-American qualified coaches to quote, ‘to manage,’ these NFL teams, it just seems to me that it’s a standard that they’d want to live up to,” Biden said, calling for a semblance of “generic decency.”
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