A new Popeye’s fried chicken commercial featuring retired NFL wide receiver Jerry Rice has brought some heat from Black Twitter for its stereotypical depiction of the legendary athlete.
Rice has been featured in an advertisement for the Louisiana-founded fast-food restaurant before, but a new one about Popeye’s Wingovations shows the ex-San Francisco 49er proudly showcasing chicken-focused inventions to enhance his game day and chicken-eating experience.
Set up like a sports newscast, the ad shows Popeye’s fictitious Black chef Annie alongside a white broadcaster named Mike as he lists tools football game watchers can use to enjoy the sport and eat simultaneously. The commercial cuts to Rice using various items, like one called a “taste mask,” a football helmet with a rotating chicken leg attached to the face mask. Others include a “sauce dome,” a baseball helmet with an arc of sauces on the bill, and a “napkin shirt,” which allows the wearer to wipe their hands directly on the clothing.
On Twitter, Black users shared their thoughts, which ranged from disgust and disappointment to genuine concerns about Rice’s financial and/or mental health.
Trying to understand this Jerry Rice and Popeyes relationship. Bruh really has a helmet with a wing mouthpiece
— Bruh. (@CheerwinePapi) January 19, 2017
Is Jerry Rice broke?? Am I missing something? Why does he have a spinning chicken helmet on… https://t.co/TKBbEA0tM3
— Otis (@DouceOtis) January 19, 2017
This didn’t happen.
Please tell me this didn’t happen.
I’m getting out of the country. Langston and James had… https://t.co/BKbqDCuFXu
— Aisha Raison (@aisharaison) January 19, 2017
Jerry Rice really coon'd out for some Popeyes
— Anfernee Harlemway (@SkeezeeWonder) January 19, 2017
Thanks Popeyes for turning jerry rice into a cartoon
— Zeek McCall (@Prstigeworlwide) January 19, 2017
Y'all seen Jerry Rice coonin in the Popeyes commercial…gotdamn helmet with a chicken wing in the front lol
— Ant™️ (@FirstName_Ant) January 19, 2017
I'm sorry if my heartbreaks seeing Jerry Rice in a Popeyes commercial. Bruh you supposed to be the GOAT.
— Lawrence Jackson (@LoJackson94) January 9, 2017
Jerry Rice tweeted all lives mater now he wearing a walking minstrel for popeyes smfh life be coming in too fast mane
— B.I.G.K.E.V. (@indiKEV) January 19, 2017
Is Jerry Rice okay? First, he was All Lives Matter. Now, he's wearing a Popeyes' helmet with a wing on the face mask. Somebody check on him.
— Reid (@RVAReid) January 19, 2017
This is not the first time Rice has found himself at the center of controversy. When 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began his protest of the national anthem in August, the retired athlete proclaimed “all lives matter.” Rice later changed his mind about Kaepernick’s “disrespect” of the flag and supported his manner of raising awareness about Black oppression.