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Super Protest on Super Bowl Sunday

February 13th, 2018

Stephen Lendman

Super bowl Sunday and events preceding the game are as much about theater and hype as sport.

It’s a money-making extravaganza from advertising revenue alone - a 30-second spot costing over $5 million.

Over 100 million viewers watch the spectacle. It’s the most over-hyped entertainment event of the year, audience size far exceeding Oscar night.

Football is a violent sport, injuries commonplace, at times disabling. Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was hospitalized in December for two months following major spinal stabilization surgery.

It took weeks for him to regain movement in his legs. He may never play again. He’s undergoing long-term rehabilitation to try regaining mobility, his injury and other major ones players endure a huge price to pay for monetary compensation received.

Powerful bodies smashing into each other disrupt normal brain functioning, affecting learning, thinking and other cognitive abilities, a previous article explained. Professional football is as much combat as sport.

Super Bowl Sunday attracted protesters in downtown Minneapolis, site of this year’s game.

Black Lives Matter, the Anti-War Committee, Women Against Military Madness, and other activists blocked streets, light-rail trains, and the US Bank Stadium’s entrance. The last leg of the city’s Green Line was shut down.

Police made arrests. Fans with tickets made it to the game on time. As of last Thursday, the cheapest “get-in price” exceeded $3,100, according to StubHub.com - for an event seen free on television.

Before game time, hundreds of protesters took a knee in front of the stadium’s security perimeter entrance. They formed a human barricade around the entry, blocking fans from getting in before police dispersed them.

Activists protested against imperial wars, police brutality, racism, corporate predators and Trump.

No injuries were reported, no charges expected to be filed, according to city police. Protests began around three hours before game time, lasting about two hours.

A Black Lives Matter statement said “(a)ctivists are using this moment to stand with athletes who have protested throughout the past two football seasons calling attention to the murder of black people by police.”

Activists also protested against the city’s ban on residents without Super Bowl tickets from using public transit on Sunday - a racist, discriminatory act, largely affecting people of color unjustifiably.

Some protesters wore shirts saying: “You shut us out, we shut you down!” - opposing the transit ban and crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

Following the game, a blast rocked Philadelphia. Celebrations included violence, several injuries reported, bottles thrown at police.

A shooting was reported. Things were out-of-control in some parts of the city, traffic lights taken out, windows broken, stores and buildings vandalized.

Mayhem turned the “City of Brotherly Love” into a post-Super Bowl war zone overnight - street violence ending a violent sport’s season.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
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