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opinion

By Dewayne Bingham, Assistant Photo Editor–

Super Bowl LV epitomized my frustration with how the NFL, state governments and we as a society are handling the COVID-19 health crisis.

Yes, Tom Brady can toss a football. Yes, the cinematic live shots of the game were mesmerizing. Sure, it was pretty funny when that guy ran onto the field in a thong … I guess.

It wasn’t entertaining, though, that security guards had to detain and remove the half-naked fan, who wasn’t wearing a face mask after being among the crowd of 25,000 at Raymond James Stadium. I’d say it was rather selfish, actually. Maybe even reckless.

Have we gotten to the point where we can’t recognize the unfairness in allowing 25,000 people to march into a stadium to drink, holler, and streak at the expense of security guards, housekeeping staff, ushers and ticket takers—people who would not willingly be exposed to thousands of strangers during a pandemic if they didn’t need the paycheck?

Does that not perfectly illustrate how team owners and executives have multiplied their wealth during the pandemic while the vulnerable working class was charged with running the show smoothly and taking care of themselves, should they become sick?

Have we truly reached a point where almost 40% capacity for a Super Bowl in Florida (one of the states impacted worst by COVID-19) seems like ample precaution? As new strands of the Novel Coronavirus are appearing in the United States, when vaccines haven’t been effectively distributed, and while people are still dying every day?

We absolutely have to reckon with these questions, and we shouldn’t hesitate to boycott those who won’t place people over profit or politics—whether it’s the NFL, our favorite team, or our governor. Our country will continue suffering slowly at the hands of COVID-19 if we the people don’t get on the same page about public health.

No game is worth a human life.

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