In case you missed it on Super Bowl Sunday, this commercial with Eli Manning and Odell Beckham has been getting a lot of attention.
Apparently, some were offended by the NFL’s commercial, which features Manning lifting Beckham into the air during a dance. The ad is a riff on the final dance scene from the movie Dirty Dancing. The critics allege the NFL is fanning the flames on the ongoing national movement to effeminate the black man.
Okay. Time out. Flag on the field. Say what?
Yes, you read that correctly. Apparently, some black men and women were offended by the commercial and some of them took to their respective social media platforms to let the world know.
First of all, I did not know there was a national movement dedicated solely to effeminating the black man, and second of all – Are. You. Kidding. Me? When I first saw dust kicking up about this on social media, I thought it was a failed attempt at a bad joke. Reading further, I discovered these people are serious, they are mad and they are ready to place blame.
About The Movement
How does this ‘movement’ work? Is there an Effeminate The Black Man Coalition? Is it recognized in all 50 states or is it just Down South (pun most definitely intended)? Does this movement consist of a merit badge system? Do you get patches or pins for every black man you break down or are accolades handed out like CVS rewards on a mile-long receipt? Finally, what qualifies as ‘effeminating a black man’? And puh-leese don’t give me the same standard two-word definition that I’ve heard about a thousand times – Tyler Perry.
My Two-Second Rant
Before Tyler Perry, we had – Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, Wesley Snipes and Flip Wilson, just to name a few. Tyler didn’t invent the art of donning a dress in a comedy routine, but maybe he just perfected it. If you’re going to check one, check ’em all. And for the record, I don’t have a problem with any of them, because contrary to what many would like me to believe – Tyler Perry is not the cause for the breakdown of the strength or image of ‘the black man.’ For starters, I don’t think (all) black men are weak, and if you want to check someone for damaging the ‘image’ of the black man – then start with R. Kelly. And when you’re done with him, circle back to me and I’ll give you the next name on the list.
BTW – Shout out to Tyler. If you need an extra for your next film – give me a call.
Back To The Commercial
Personally, I thought the commercial was clever and funny. It was different and unexpected. There was stiff dancing, uncomfortable footwork and Manning’s hip-sway that could never come close to what Patrick Swayze gave us in the original film. And that’s what made this commercial funny. It was a light-hearted mix of comedy and nostalgia for both NFL and Dirty Dancing fans. Not once, did I look at it as an attempt by the NFL to feminize the black man; and I think it’s a far reach to accuse the NFL of watering down a section of men based on THIS commercial.
So, if this commercial wasn’t your cup of tea, just say it. No harm – no foul. However, if you looked at this 30-second spot and interpreted the quirky promo as an attack on your manhood, maybe you should take an extended, in-depth self-assessment. You dug down deep into the chamber to come back up offended, and perhaps, you may have some more significant matters to deal with that are completely unrelated to the NFL.
I’m just sayin’.