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Before the Game

It’s Super Bowl Sunday! Boycott or no boycott, there’s no avoiding the fact that my team made it to the BIG GAME. I’ve seen more Eagles gear this week than I have in the last three years combined-- billboards, steel popcorn cans, t-shirts, hoodies, car flags, etc. From Philadelphia to D.C. people and buildings are covered in green. I, on the other hand, am covered with questions.

I was asked at the beginning of the season, “If the Eagles make it to the Super Bowl, will you watch?”

I most likely responded along the lines of, “Will Colin Kaepernick have a job?” In my heart, I wanted the Eagles in the super bowl during my personal boycott to be a conflict I would get to experience, but I don’t think I honestly expected the year to go as it did.

What started out as supporting one man who found himself unemployable after bringing awareness to a national crisis, has turned into a weekly question of whether or not I can knowingly support an organization that as a whole allows covert oppression.

Yes, I know we live in America where covert oppression and racism are rampant. I also know that I don’t have to blindly accept this as my norm, nor do I have to pour my money and time in support of such organizations. After watching the documentary 13th, my everyday decisions have become less about convenience, and more about ethics. Sadly, with the events that took place in the NFL this season, this organization is no different, but it makes today’s game even more important.

Throughout the season, the true sentiments of NFL owners and their back door conversations have come to the light. From statements like we can’t have “inmates running the prison” to the traditional spin that makes the victim look like the villain by stating we will not tolerate “disrespect of the flag,” my original #standwithKap has transformed into a moral dilemma. However, not all owners feel this way, and that’s what I love most about today’s game.

In a few hours, my team, the Eagles will be going up against the true American team, the Patriots (sorry to break the news to the Dallas fans). Back when I watched the NFL weekly, I used to joke about how the super bowl was rigged as evident by the amount of championships the Patriots have won since September 11, 2001. The fixing of games aside, however, I am viewing today’s super bowl as a microcosm of America. The Eagles, a team publicly known for having players actively involved in social justice reform and NFL debates, is going up against Trump’s team, the Patriots.

In my mind, today is about the underdogs taking out the bullies. The Eagles are not playing for themselves, they are playing for the people for which America has never been great-- the people whose voices get silenced and slanted. Their fight is our fight.

I don’t know what the outcome will be. I know I will be celebrating our victory when it goes our way. (See what I did there?) And while, I won’t be watching the game, I will be rooting for the true Americans-- the ones who genuinely embody what this country was supposed to represent, "freedom and justice for all." Honestly, if we really do win today, I just might reconsider my stance of the NFL because the push back is possible. I might.

For now, the boycott continues, but my heart still bleeds green. E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!

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