The NFL made a big deal out of showing respect for law enforcement and military prior to Super Bowl LII, including honoring 15 Medal of Honor recipients ahead of the coin toss and kickoff to start the game.
While that gesture was certainly appreciated, it nevertheless rang a bit hollow following a year in which the league did nothing to stop — indeed, actually seemed to encourage — player protests during the national anthem that were perceived by many as anti-American and disrespectful toward military veterans and police officers.
But as the NFL appeared to have no problem with players denigrating the police all season as abusive racists, or characterizing the nation as a whole as oppressive toward minorities, the league sure didn’t mind accepting the safety and security offered by those allegedly oppressive and racist institutions for the big game on Sunday in Minneapolis, according to TMZ.
That safety and security was furnished by thousands of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and military units, who were heavily armed with handguns, rifles, bulletproof vests and Humvees.
According to tech industry outlet Commercial Integrator, this year’s Super Bowl featured the deployment of the most federal security assets for the big game ever in league history.
Headed up by the Minneapolis Police Department, the security contingent for the game included officers from some 60 different police departments and public safety organizations around the country, as well as multiple components of the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, numerous other federal agencies and the Minnesota National Guard … not to mention thousands of trained volunteers on watch for suspicious activity among the crowds.
DHS declared the Super Bowl to be a Level 1 Special Event in its assessment rating, the highest classification of what it deems to be potential risks to public safety.
The massive security apparatus provided protection to the estimated 1 million visitors to the city during the 10 days leading up to the big game, which included a variety of official events in surrounding areas, team hotels, practice facilities, travel routes, and, of course, the U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis itself, where the game took place.
Security measures included countless surveillance cameras that were temporarily installed all around the stadium and city, as well as sensitive air particle sensors, massive scanning machines to check the contents of delivered packages and metal detectors to keep watch for hidden weapons.
Minnesota station WCCO reported that the planning for security at Super Bowl LII actually was begun two years ago, as it takes time to coordinate all of the various security components.
“We’ve conducted over 200 different security assessments of the critical infrastructure and the surrounding area,” explained DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
“We’ve provided counsel and recommendations on protective measures resulting from those assessments and we’ve hosted about 52 training sessions in the area on topics ranging from active shooter through to cyber bombing, any sort of hazard or event that could occur,” she added.
To be sure, nobody is suggesting that there shouldn’t have been ample security at the Super Bowl, as there is no doubt that such a target-rich environment must be awfully tempting to those who wish to cause chaos, death and destruction for the sake of ideology — but it does tend to come across as a bit hypocritical for the league and its players to take it for granted.
The NFL has coddled social justice warrior players who label police as racist killers and the military as a tool of the oppressors, yet entrust the security of their biggest event of the year to gun-toting, bulletproof vest-wearing cops and military members.
Thankfully, nothing went down security-wise at the game Sunday night — at least that the public is aware of — and the one good thing that can be drawn from all of this is that, with the season now over, we won’t have to hear about disrespectful anthem protests for the next several months… so there is that.
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