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Monday’s episode of CNN’s “New Day” featured a segment that discussed the Super Bowl Halftime Show and what it could mean for the Black Lives Matter movement, with one guest claiming it was a “bad day.”
The performance was widely praised, but CNN cultural columnist and guest Christopher John Farley criticized the act, noting that there was no mention of Kaepernick during the night.
“There is one thing people are really talking about but no one mentions him by name. All the tributes had to do with trailblazers, people fighting against the power like Mary Mary singing ‘Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.’ And having Black country star Mickey Guyton singing the National Anthem. And having Billie Jean King do the coin flip. And yet nobody actually mentioned the guy who really helped inspire protests at the NFL level and that was Colin Kaepernick,” Farley said.
Fellow guest and journalist Mara Schiavocampo further added that the Super Bowl was actually a “bad day” because there was no “meaningful change.”
“While it is important to recognize and acknowledge that it was a good night for hip-hop, it’s also important to recognize it was a bad day for the movement. Because the NFL was able to successfully use Black performers to distract Black audiences from the issues that are important to them without making any meaningful change whatsoever. A little bit like putting on Band-Aid on a tumor,” Schiavocampo said.
Numerous media figures and pundits criticized this take on the performances, including New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.
“Do folks really think Black people are so unsophisticated as to not be able to enjoy seeing some of our favorites performing while also realizing the league still has major racial issues? I don’t know a single person who watched the show and thought absolution,” Hannah-Jones tweeted.
Farley admitted that he did enjoy the performances overall but insisted that there needed to be a time to “meaningfully engage” with more political issues.
“There’s some missing part there unless they meaningfully engage with issues … and have truth and reconciliation about what happened beforehand,” Farley said.