Fierce debate has erupted across social media as to whether the National Football League may have been trying to send a message to Donald Trump and Mike Pence when it honored the cast of the Broadway play Hamilton at the start of the Super Bowl. By now the American public knows the story of how Pence attended Hamilton shortly after the election, and the cast ended up lecturing him about Trump’s racist policies from the stage. But now it turns out Pence also in the Super Bowl audience.
The particular detail wasn’t revealed until Fox showed Mike Pence sitting in a luxury suite at the Houston stadium during the third quarter of of the Super Bowl. Pence didn’t look happy, but then again, he rarely does look anything other than perturbed, so it was difficult to tell if he felt uncomfortable over the matter. But the NFL had to have known that Pence would be attending the game when it decided to invite the cast of Hamilton to perform during the pre-game, meaning it had no qualms about humiliating him in that manner. And it got worse.
At least a half dozen Super Bowl ads on television made a point of rebuking Donald Trump and his racist policies. Coca-Cola and Google ran multilingual commercials promoting inclusivity, while Budweiser and 84 Lumber ran ads which stood up for the rights of immigrants. Budweiser highlighted the fact that its own founder was an American immigrant who faced undue challenges along the way, while 84 Lumber depicted Donald Trump’s proposed border wall and then revealed that it had built a door in the wall for immigrants to pass through.
The silver lining for Mike Pence is that, by virtue of being at the game, he didn’t have to watch all the television ads rebuking his administration and its policies. But rest assured Donald Trump is watching at home, and he’ll explode about it on Twitter.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report