Next Sunday, many Americans will spend hours glued to their television screens while millionaire athletes participate in a bizarre reenactment of medieval war, only with lots more male-on-male ass slapping. But I digress…
The Super Bowl, while it may be the ultimate championship of America’s favorite sport, is also a prime example of the corporate take-over of our nation’s consciousness. Think about it: for weeks leading up to the game, we’re bombarded with corporate branding, sexist beer commercials, and pressure to plan the perfect Super Bowl party, with a strange thread of militant patriotism woven throughout.
Anything to distract us from the fact that our nation is in shambles, and our elected “representatives” have been bought and paid for by the same company that makes your potato chips.
But in Indiana, home to this year’s Super Bowl venue, Occupy Wall Street groups and labor union leaders are determined to redirect the spotlight onto the Republican-led state legislature’s recent success in making Indiana a “right to work” state. While “right to work” sounds warm and fuzzy, it actually means squashing unions and making it harder for non-union workplaces to get basic job protections.
The Nation’s Dave Zirin has more:
Earlier this week, more than 150 people—listed as seventy-five in USA Today, but I’ll go with eyewitness accounts—marched through last Saturday’s Super Bowl street fair in downtown Indianapolis with signs that read, “Occupy the Super Bowl,” “Fight the Lie” and “Workers United Will Prevail.” Occupy the Super Bowl has also become a T-shirt, posted for the world to see on the NBC Sports Blog.
The protests also promise to shed light on the reality of life for working families in the city of Indianapolis. Unemployment is at 13.3 percent, with unemployment for African-American families at 21 percent. Two of every five African-American families with a child under 5 live below the anemic poverty line.
Now, this isn’t meant to be a post bashing football, or those that enjoy playing or watching it. In fact, members of the National Football League Players Association issued a statement condemning the RTW bill.
But this Sunday, as you sit down to an afternoon of beer and bean dip, think about the millions of Americans who can’t afford food. Or no longer have a house, much less a flat screen TV. Then think about the Wall Street gamblers who are responsible, but haven’t yet faced a single criminal charge for their actions.
As Occupy protester Tithi Bhattacharya told the Nation, “We should show the 1 percent that the fate of Indiana cannot be decided with the swish of a pen by corporate politicians—the Super Bowl should be turned into a campaign for justice and jobs.”
How much will it take before you get up off the couch and join the fight?
Image Credit: Flickr – Aheram