Tampa’s unnecessary spike

David Goodson | 2/11/2021, midnight

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Hate to say it. This came down from the TAMPA POLICE BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION:

“We have all heard the dangers of COVID 19 and the unnecessary risks of spreading the illness when in big groups. It seems like none of that is in dispute. So, you can imagine our confusion and disappointment with the NFL and the local NFL Host Committee when they decide to add more events, parties and gatherings after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made their way to the Super Bowl. Quite frankly, it is irresponsible, and it alludes to putting dollars over officer lives and safety.

“To date, we are aware of almost 90 unofficial Super Bowl events in a five-day period. Many of those have national figures, celebrities and entertainers being advertised as being in attendance to help draw a crowd. That doesn’t even include the official events scattered over six parks along the Riverwalk that all need to be secured inside the Event Zone. Additionally, we still have to conduct the day-to-day operations of keeping Tampa secure…

“Weren’t we just asking people to cancel or limit their Thanksgiving and Holiday celebrations less than a month ago? For what it is worth, Tampa even considered canceling and ultimately postponed Gasparilla, our 100+ year tradition, because the risk was and remains too high. The Lightning were in the Stanley Cup and the NHL limited big gatherings and played to virtually empty rinks. The Rays took a similar perspective when they made it to the big show (The WORLD SERIES in Major League Baseball). If the risk is too high for the Rays and the Lightning, what’s so different for the NFL?”

Ahhhh…the answer to that question is readily available and obvious. The NFL is one of the premiere magnets of businesses of all sectors, generating BILLIONS of dollars per year with that number being approached by the weekend of the Super Bowl alone. FACTS!! That’s why the stance of Colin reverberated outside of the realm of sports. One man was not going to jeopardize THAT kind of revenue to the plight of Black people who ironically comprise the bulk of the talent paraded on the field week to week. With that kind of cheddar floating around, it’s not surprising that while it wasn’t business as usual, the show went on. When it comes to getting some of that cheese, of course rap artists who were heavily represented as some of the biggest in the game (50 Cent, The Migos, Rick Ross, Torey Lanez and French Montana) hosted jam-packed venues. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman took issue with the behaviors of 50 Cent as well as party promoters for hosting these potentially super spreader events.

“This isn’t how we should be celebrating the Super Bowl,” Kriseman wrote. “It’s not safe or smart. It’s stupid. We’re going to take a very close look at this, and it may end up costing someone a lot more than 50 cent.”

Not to front however, the controlled setting production of the 22nd annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration hosted by television and radio personality Rickey Smiley that aired Feb. 6, 2020 on BET proved to be quite the dope event.

Led by the theme “Nothing Can Stop Us,” the highly anticipated night of praise and worship kicked off with a dynamic opening prayer by Pastor Mike Todd and featured an appearance by acclaimed actor Courtney B. Vance. High-energy performances by The NFL Players Choir with Erica Campbell, Voices of Fire presented by Pharrell Williams, PJ Morton with Zacardi Cortez & Darrel Walls, Koryn Hawthorne and gospel music pioneer John P. Kee featuring Kierra Sheard kept the spirit moving throughout the program. Current Houston Texans (but if the rumors about the Jets come to fruition…) quarterback Deshaun Watson was presented this year’s “Faith In Action Award” by celebrated NFL Legend Warrick Dunn (Tampa Bay Buccaneers & Atlanta Falcons). The son of a courageous cancer survivor, Watson is one of the NFL’s youngest philanthropists and is committed to causes that support families and youth in underserved communities. The American Cancer Society, in collaboration with the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration, lent financial support while they highlighted the need to eliminate barriers to prevention and treatment in the Black community during the broadcast with viewers encouraged to donate $10 by texting HOPE to 20222.

Over and out. Holla next week. Until then. If it’s advisable or not, enjoy the nightlife. (SAFELY!!!)