Can the Super Bowl be just about football?

Super Bowl 50 is upon us, an annual sporting event captivating much of the world.  Two great teams battling it out for the Vince Lombardi trophy and title of NFL champion.  Typically, in sporting contests such as this, we say, "May the best team win."  Not the most racially diverse team or the one "embracing" their race better than any other team.

Right on schedule, the left has turned a popular cultural and entertainment event into a treatise on race.  First the Academy Awards, now the Super Bowl.

In the lead-up to the big game, the Huffington Post announced that the Carolina Panthers are "the most unapologetically black team in NFL history."  So is that what they bring to the Super Bowl?  Never mind their great offense and quarterback, as well as a 15-1 record.

More importantly, "[t]hey have talked loudly, danced loudly and celebrated loudly."  Going farther, the Huffington Post observes, "The Panthers have embraced, demonstrated and exuded aspects of their blackness in a way that few predominately black teams have done in the past."  I would have thought the fact that they have been crushing opposing teams all season would be more important than their "blackness."

Didn't the NFL owners vote to limit end zone celebrations?  Does that include the Panthers talking, dancing, and celebrating loudly?  Cam Newton "has decided that no one was going to dictate his happiness or how he expresses that joy after a first down or a touchdown."  Different rules for Cam from those for Peyton Manning if (God forbid) he chose to dance in the end zone?

What about "blackness" and the NFL in general?  Black players make up 67% of the NFL, while white players are only 29% of the league.  This is lauded with an A+ rating from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.  Yet blacks make up only 13% of the U.S. population.  Doesn't seem representative to me.

Switch to the entertainment industry, where we are constantly reminded of how Hollywood films "do not reflect diversity" because of under-representation of non-white ethnic groups.  An example of such criticism is "Hispanic actors played only 4.9% of speaking parts in 2013 blockbusters, despite making up more than 16% of the population."

Imagine using that logic for the NFL. How would this play?  The NFL does not reflect diversity because white NFL players make up only 29% of 2015 teams, despite making up more than 77% of the population.

The Huffington Post praises the blackness of the Panthers, but not the whiteness of the Oscars.  They observe, "The lack of diversity among Oscar nods has, sadly, become tradition and things don't seem to be getting any better.  In fact, they're getting worse."  Would they say the same about the NFL?

Why can't the NFL and the Oscars be about the best players and teams or the best actors and actresses?  The vast majority of football fans and moviegoers are enjoying the show, not keeping track of racial diversity on the field or screen.  Leave it to the leftist media to make everything about race and diversity, at least when it suits their narrative and worldview.

On Super Bowl Sunday, may the best team win, regardless of who scores higher on the Huffington Post racial diversity report card.  Can a few remaining areas in life such as sports and entertainment be "safe zones" protected from the politically correct police?  May the best team win, not the most inclusive, tolerant, diverse, or sensitive team.  Go, Broncos!

Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based retina surgeon, radio personality, and writer.  Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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