Amber Doyle | Correspondent
Many black artists came forward to #StandwithKaep during the Super Bowl LIII by not watching and not participating in any events hosted by the Super Bowl. The hashtag comes after allegations that former quarterback Colin Kaepernick was fired from the National Football League (NFL) because he took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality.
Cardi B was perhaps one of the most vocal artists about protesting the Super Bowl. She decided to make a stance along with Jay-Z and Rhianna, music artists who both previously spoke out about boycotting the Super Bowl. When asked to perform during the Super Bowl’s halftime show, Cardi B declined the offer.
Despite making public statements about her own personal opinion of how the NFL treated Kaepernick, she still participated in six different Super Bowl events, including a commercial for Pepsi and Amazon that aired during the Super Bowl and attending a Pre-Super Bowl event.
The question that was raised by many social media users following the Super Bowl was whether or not it’s hypocritical of Cardi B to have made a statement about protesting the Super Bowl yet still participate in events that are hosted by them.
According to the News Tribune, Cardi B responded to all of her critics by stating, “I hear people saying like, ‘Oh, y’all are saying all this stuff about the Super Bowl, but you’re doing all these parties,’ And it’s like, well, if the NFL could benefit off from us, then I’m going to benefit off y’all. Y’all make the most money off our people. Why am I not going to take advantage of y’all and take money from y’all too? Because of y’all, we are getting these parties. OK, thank you.”
Although I believe that it is very hypocritical of Cardi B to select what she chooses to boycott during the Super Bowl and by saying one thing and doing another, there is some truth behind what she is saying. Whether or not Cardi B performed or participated in any Super Bowl event, the NFL would have still benefited. They are getting publicity off of artists protesting the Super Bowl and once Cardi B denied the opportunity to perform at the halftime show, the Super Bowl just found a different person to replace her.
In this case, it would have been better if Cardi B used her platform and her appearance in the Super Bowl commercial to make a political statement about Kaepernick being fired. By her contradicting herself and still participating in Super Bowl events, it made her come off as hypocritical and as if she was afraid to take a stance and went back on her word.
In past Super Bowls, there have been political statements made by artists during the halftime show and commercials. In order to avoid being seen as hypocritical, Cardi B could have used her performance to speak out about police brutality or Kaepernick.
This does not just apply to Cardi B. A lot of people boycott the NFL throughout the year by not watching the games, but they still end up watching the Super Bowl at the end of the football season.
Similarly, many boycotts showcased by the media have a lot participation at first, but eventually lose their appeal to the general audience. For instance, actress and comedian Mo’Nique, advocated for a boycott against Netflix for racial and gender bias at the beginning of last year. She believed that she was offered an unfair amount for her comedy show that was uploaded compared to other white and male comedians.
Her allegations caused for some people to boycott Netflix for a couple of weeks, but then it eventually lost its appeal and fell off. Similarly, along with Kaepernick many people felt the need to protest against police brutality. So, college and high school students were seen taking a knee during the national anthem at football games, but after a couple of weeks this boycott lost its appeal as well.
The reason why nothing was changed after these boycotts is because protesters are not sticking with it long enough. If the boycott’s purpose is to evoke change, then why not continue participating in the boycott until a change actually occurs? It is almost as if people are seeing these movements as trends, getting angry about an issue for a couple of weeks and then forgetting about it. Evoking change on that level takes more than a couple of weeks and it can only be done if the majority of the protesters stick with it until change occurs.
Cardi B is not the only person to ever abandon something that they are protesting. Almost everyone does it, which is why there has not been any drastic political changes coming from boycotting recently. Boycotting is a great method of protesting, but only if enough people stick with the protest long enough to see to change.