Even though the Super Bowl was in my home city of Atlanta, I did not watch the game. Reason No. 1: I’m black. Reason No. 2: Reason No. 1 won’t be changing anytime soon.
The NFL has a long history of treating its black employees as lesser than, and that history started long before quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality and was in effect, banned from the league.
According to the Grio, the NFL is 70 percent black and has the weakest players’ union among the four major leagues. Its players have the least power in free agency, and they get the lowest pay and worst post-retirement benefits among players in the four major leagues.
Still, it’s the NFL’s response to Kaepernick that was the most painful blow to my family. Kaepernick was taking a knee for black people, and the NFL blatantly shut him out. After three years, it’s clear the league’s ban was intentional and permanent.
So I’m giving the NFL what it gave Kaepernick, the cold shoulder.
Here are five things to do instead of watching football on Sundays:
1. Netflix and chill after the kiddies go to bed.
Have you finished binge watching the Netflix series “You” or the documentary “FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened”? Of course you haven’t. You have kids. Now’s the time to get caught up.
2. Visit a black-owned art gallery
Atlanta’s Hammonds House Museum is the former home of noted Atlanta physician and art lover Dr. Otis Thrash Hammonds.The museum features permanent exhibits featuring works by black artists as well as a temporary photo exhibit dubbed Dandy Lion: (Re) Articulating Black Masculine Identity. Hammonds House is open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays on Peeples Street.
3. Go see a drive-in movie
Atlanta’s Starlight Drive-in Theatre on Moreland Avenue has movies playing every Sundays as long as there are no holidays or inclement weather threats. But even if you don’t have a drive-in movie theater near you, bring your baby along with you to a local theater during an unpopular time. So there won’t be many other patrons to complain if she cries.
4. Explore a botanical garden
Plan a family fun day at Atlanta Botanical Garden. They usually have fun exhibits or activities going on, and you have ample time to explore the rest of the garden while you’re there. Just be sure to bring hot cocoa in case it’s chilly out.
5. Check out your local library’s special events
Since it’s February, many libraries have Black History Month programming going on. Just be sure to invite friends to make it fun.