The Philadelphia Eagles stunning win over the New England Patriots at Superbowl LVII this past Sunday prompted a night of raucous celebration, as Eagles fans took to the streets and pretty much destroyed everything in sight.
The violent pandemonium exposed a racist double standard, however, as conservatives stopped short of calling the event what it was: a riot. Frenzied fans were seen setting fires, flipping a police car and even toppling city light poles.
A report published by Fox News following Philly’s Super Bowl win confirmed most of the rioters Sunday night were white. It describes some of the participants as “looters,” but outwardly avoids labeling them rioters, a far cry from what the network has done in the past to describe Black protesters in cities like Baltimore and Ferguson.
Fox News headline reader Carley Shimkus noted that Philly “is under a little bit of duress” after the celebration got a little rowdy.
“This is a nice celebration,” co-host Brian Kilmeade added sarcastically. “This should be a time for law enforcement to relax.”
Fellow host Steve Doocy said the fan celebrations simply “went haywire.”
“Well, they’re all missing work today,” co-host Ainsley Earhardt said of the fans. “They all have hangovers today. But they’re all excited.”
Many activists were quick to point out the hypocrisy in the way sports riots are treated with lighthearted censure, while those triggered by police shootings are condemned and used to de-legitimatize movements like Black Lives Matter.
“Somehow, it seems there’s a line drawn in the sand where destruction of property because of a sports victory is okay and acceptable in America,” Hawk Newsome, president of Black Lives Matter-NY told Newsweek. “… However, if you have people who are fighting for their most basic human right, the right to live, they will be condemned.”
Many on social media echoed his sentiments.
Did you see all those riot gear decked out police spraying rubber bullets into the Philadelphia crowd during the Super Bowl win celebration?! No? But they were tearing the city apart — why were the police so passive..? pic.twitter.com/K7a68Gj2i6
— Bamb-brrrraaaatt! (@BambuDePistola) February 6, 2018
Social media when they see people of color riot over police injustice: “Look how stupid those people are!” Same people looking at Philly getting traffic lights ripped down after the Super Bowl: “Dude! That’s so awesome!”
— Maury Brown (@BizballMaury) February 5, 2018
Oh okay I get it. When white people riot because their team won the super bowl it’s okay, but when we take a knee because police are murdering us ,it’s not okay
— stef (@stefanwhelchel2) February 6, 2018
Retweet if you know why the police aren't firing tear gas and rubber bullets at them. pic.twitter.com/1nFSqBTJc9
— You Know Why (@YouKnowWhyShow) February 5, 2018