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With Super Bowl LVII slated for Sunday, the media has highlighted the fact that this will be the first Super Bowl in NFL history with two Black quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts, squaring off against each other. This game will also be played during Black History Month, so the occasion is all the more momentous.
However, a fine line between seeing ethnicity as something to be celebrated and using race as a tool to divide us still exists. As I like to say, we are not colorblind. We can and do see ethnicity, and we celebrate the uniqueness of each other and the fact that we can still come together as one American people despite our differences.
Unfortunately, the liberal media is using race to divide America. The liberal media uses race as a tool of division and as an instrument of the progressive Left’s woke politics. This isn’t new, and in fact, it’s the playbook they’ve been running for years. We see it in everything from critical race theory in our schools, to the 1619 Project in academia, to the Biden administration’s push for racial “equity” in things such as climate policies. In all of these areas, race has been used to divide the American people and make us focus on our differences, rather than on what we share in common.
This Sunday, rather than speaking endlessly about how both quarterbacks have the same skin tone, what if we focused instead on what they stand for? For example, why don’t we point out that these quarterbacks are both men of good and upstanding character who give back to their communities? Why don’t we point out that they are both faithful men of God?
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By answering these questions first, we can help America determine whether these are the sort of men who our country should look up to. Before the woke takeover of many of our institutions, there was a time in America when our heroes were mostly men and women of faith and strong character. They were elevated to prominence to set good examples for our young people to look up to and to learn from.
Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. Color of skin is discussed more than content of character, and the examples we elevate are all too often seen primarily as a representative of their race.
On Sunday, we can highlight their athletic accomplishments and praise them for their skill and prowess. Patrick Mahomes will likely go down as one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. He has already joined Peyton Manning as the only players in history to throw 50 touchdown passes and for 5,000 yards in a single season and has led his team to a Super Bowl victory while earning the Super Bowl MVP award.
Jalen Hurts also has an impressive record. Hurts was drafted by the Eagles in 2020 and became the team’s full-time starter in 2021. He earned a Pro Bowl selection this season after he posted 4,461 yards of total offense and 35 touchdowns with just six interceptions. His impressive season placed him among the final five contenders for the NFL MVP award.
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Our country has also seen Black excellence in the Super Bowl before. The first Black Super Bowl coaches were Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith, both men of strong faith and upstanding character. The first Black quarterback to ever lead his team to victory in the Super Bowl was Doug Williams, who earned the MVP award for his performance in the game. Further examples of Black heroics in the NFL abound.
This Super Bowl Sunday, let’s all join together as the one-blood human race to watch the biggest sporting event of the year. We must set aside the politics and division that will surely pop up, and instead focus on the athletic excellence that will be on display.
Let’s turn our attention to what my uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., highlighted in his famous “I Have a Dream” Speech: the content of the character of these two men, rather than the color of their skin.
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My uncle spoke about that idea in 1963, and this August will mark the 60th anniversary of those immortal words. After 60 years, we can look back at all the progress we have made since the trials of the Civil Rights Movement. But we know that we aren’t all the way there yet, and racial divisions are still rife throughout our country. Accordingly, we should ask ourselves what is still holding us back, and what we can do to fix it.
The first thing we can do is set aside the attempts to divide us based on skin-color racism, and instead celebrate our beautiful ethnicities as they all come together to form these great United States of America. That’s how we ought to be viewing Super Bowl Sunday this year, and every year to come.
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