Fans are upset after ESPN slighted HBCUs by cutting the halftime show of a game between Jackson State University and Florida A&M University.
On Sunday, the two colleges went head-to-head on the football field in a nationally televised game. The score was close but that was not the only thing on the minds of the fans after the game concluded.
As is tradition, no matter how good an HBCU football team may be, the halftime show featuring the band is what really makes or breaks the event. In fact, many spectators anticipate the show more than the outcome of the game.
HBCU Bands music & dance is 🔥🔥> all your other schools bands playing that cheesy elevator music with stiff outta style stale moves. I’m ready to watch @THEMARCHING100 on @ESPNCFB..on espn2..Waiting to see if they move n shake to “Straightening”🔥🔥pic.twitter.com/TunEHu7hak
— MarkJonesESPN (@MarkJonesESPN) September 5, 2021
That is why when the network decided to cut into the show on Sunday, the fans were upset at the move.
There are a few things to consider within context to understand the ire of Black spectators who were tuned into the event.
First, HBCUs rarely get national attention for their sports programs. The Jackson State vs. FAMU game being nationally televised by ESPN was important.
Secondly, ESPN is a company that has been rife with diversity and racism issues. Although it is not uncommon to not show complete halftime shows, any company that claims to be culturally sensitive has to know that HBUC band battles are a part of Blackness.
On Twitter, Black football fans spoke out about the slight.
They showed the end of it. So damn disrespectful.
— #️⃣9️⃣0️⃣4️⃣That_Dude904 (@James_Byrd904) September 5, 2021
I remember back in the 90s BET would broadcast the HBCU games and the whole halftime Band show. 🤦🏾♂️
— Howard Boone, Jr. (@SigmaAce97) September 6, 2021
@espn you need to Broadcast HBCU halftimes differently. More time for the bands, and tell the announcers to not talk over the bands.
— John Charles Thomas (@JohncharlesT) September 5, 2021
#ESPN y’all wack af for not showing the halftime show for the FAMU vs JSU game. Please understand with HBCU’s the halftime show is MORE IMPORTANT than the ACTUAL GAME! Do better ESPN pic.twitter.com/znCrh9M6WN
— Freeky Reek (@FreekyReek) September 5, 2021
Lastly, just because NewsOnyx cares: