Members of various groups within the NYPD as well as law enforcement from around the country have spoken out and written letters to the NFL in opposition to the Super Bowl 50 Halftime show. In solidarity with these groups PLEA released the following statement:
The men and women of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association stand in unity with the growing number of police organizations from across America that have expressed their outrage and disappointment at the blatant political and race based message exhibited by Super Bowl halftime performer Beyonce Knowles. The performance was laden with the symbology of violence against police; black panther style uniforms, criss-crossed gold sashes made to mimic the look of bandoleers of ammunition, Black Power salutes, and field formations in the shape of an, X, ostensibly as a tribute to Malcolm X, combined with other inferences to the Black Lives Matter movement.
While we respect Ms. Knowles’ First Amendment right to free speech, it is ironic that the very men and women her message attacks are the same ones who provided her with a police motorcade escort to and from the Super Bowl in order to expedite her travel and keep her and her entourage safe. These same law enforcement officers also provided security and protection for her and her performers during their halftime performance.
Today we are seeing the antithesis of the late Dr. Martin Luther King’s message of peaceful protest through civil disobedience as well as his message of unification rather than division. We see now, more than ever, a generation of youth within America that believe it’s their right to oppose, argue with, provoke, bait, resist, and aggressively fight with police rather than to submit to lawful authority. Why, then, are so many that have the ability to influence the youth of America perpetuating and advocating the message of violent protest? Protests through violence are the hallmarks of Malcolm X, the New Black Panther Party, and the Black Lives Matter movement. Their message and methods of protest promote divisiveness not unity, and violence rather than peace. They promote a message that one race group matters more than others instead of a true message of equality and the message that all men are created equal.
Everyone should be outraged at the message espoused by this performance. Of equal or greater concern is the fact that the NFL is of the belief that this is an appropriate performance for a Super Bowl halftime show. Certainly, any entertainment for a venue of this magnitude has to go through several levels of vetting. This begs the question; who in the upper levels of the NFL believed this was an appropriate message for a Super Bowl halftime show? Why now, more than ever, does it seem the NFL is comfortable in allowing the halftime venue to be used as a platform for the political messages of individual performers? One has to wonder; would the NFL allow a performance to occur that promoted a pro-police message, pro-life message, or a pro-Second Amendment message? Probably not in this century.