This football season, NFL protests and boycotts have further divided a nation. But how much are you willing to bet the College Football Championship game reunites us? If only for one night?
Gather around college football fans! We’ve been waiting SIX months for tonight’s game! And if you’re a Georgia fan, like me, you’ve been waiting a lifetime. Well, it’s actually more like a decade for me, but who’s counting?
Now, what I’m not going to do is breakdown tonight’s clash of SEC Titans — Bama vs GA or Saban vs his protege Kirby Smart. Instead, what I’m more interested in a different type of clash. A culture clash of sports, hip hop, and politics, especially since Donald Trump is rumored to attend tonight’s title game.
Say what you want about Trump, but it actually makes sense for him to be in the building.
The game is being played in Atlanta at the Falcons newly built $1.2 billion world-class Mercedes Benz Stadium. For Trump, it’s an opportunity to shake hands and kiss the babies of his “base” who are just a drive away, no matter if they’re cheering #GoDawgsSickEm or yelling that other chant. While it’s been reported anti-Trump protests are expected to take place outside of the stadium, the majority of the 71,000 fans inside will make Trump feel like he’s finally getting the homecoming king welcome he fantasized about receiving at his inauguration almost a year ago. In theory.
But the reality of it is that the game is being hosted in Atlanta, the capital of Black America (!!!), and the new domain of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Emphasis on Keisha.
And to top it all off, ESPN is cutting a check, that’s probably north of a million dollars, to Compton’s very own Kendrick Lamar to perform at the College Football Playoff Championship’s first-ever halftime show. Now, technically it’s not on the field, and it will take place outside of the stadium, but to the viewers at home, like you and me, it’ll still give us Super Bowl vibes.
Yet, to assume that the same “base” (of a certain age) that supports Trump doesn’t support Kendrick would be ignorant. After all, ‘DAMN’, K. Dot’s critically acclaimed album which is nominated for seven GRAMMYs, is also double platinum. And we all know, black folks didn’t buy all those ‘DAMN’ albums.
But it does make you wonder, in a world of Taylor Swifts and Katy Perrys, why ESPN chose Cornrow Kenny. For a network that’s mandated its talent to “stick to sports”, why the “To Pimp a Butterfly” composer? He’s arguably the wokest rapper of today’s generation. So woke that when the black delegation met, they unanimously voted “Alright” our modern-day Black Anthem. Kendrick’s built a career using his influence to address socio-political topics such as institutionalized racism, police brutality, mass incarceration, and promoting Black power.
Last month Forbes Magazine recognized King Kendrick’s 2017 hustle, flow, and ambition; featuring him on their 30 Under 30 cover, labeling him a buzz-term of the century, “conscious capitalist” for raking in an estimated $30 million.
Kendrick is absolutely crushing it by following his moral compass of being a voice for underrepresented communities of black and brown folks. Those same black and brown communities that Trump has further disenfranchised.
But let’s not get it twisted. Capitalism is a dirty game. It’s an economic system that thrives off of unfair labor exchanges, causing even the most conscious to compromise. It’s hypocritical, unjust, and corrupt. Much like college football.
Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban makes $11 million a year, more than any other college coach. Yes, Coach K included. A championship for Georgia’s coach Kirby Smart could mean an extra million dollars in bonus incentives on top of his $3.75 million salary. Per Forbes, the SEC is reportedly banking $70 million this bowl season. And of course ESPN is going to cash in with ratings expected to more than double the 10.3 million viewers it averaged during this season’s Monday Night Football ratings flop, it’s lowest since 2006. And the players are getting….screwed. But that’s another post for another time.
So what part of K. Dot’s narrative aligns with the Worldwide Leader’s corporate policy? Or Trump’s agenda?
The part where invested parties are betting on our LOYALTY to black, white, crimson or bulldog red, to yield to one color — the almighty money green.