News Release

“Occupy Super Bowl”

ROBERT LIPSYTE, rolipsyte at aol.com
“Jock Culture” correspondent for Tomdispatch.com, Lipsyte is author of several books on sports; most recently An Accidental Sportswriter. He just wrote: “Four Reasons to Watch the Super Bowl: Joe Hill, Joe Pa, Tebow, Wee Brains,” which states: “Where else will be you be able to watch more than 100 young men, most of them African-American, working for high wages in a totally unionized shop? … Even with a progressive attitude, watching the Super Bowl, which seems to float on rivers of oil — think car ads — and beer, is not exactly like holding a OWS-style general assembly in the red zone. Nevertheless, it’s a terrific visual of the American class divide. In their skyboxes, usually in jacket and tie, eating, drinking, and high-fiving — or scowling — are the one-percenters who own the team, which is usually not their only source of income.

“Below them, on the field, are their employees (many of them temporary one-percenters, given the median league salary of at least $560,000), using up the capital of their bodies. If you want to root for the Patriots or the Giants, fine. I’ll be rooting for the working class.”

TITHI BHATTACHARYA, tbhattac at gmail.com
AP reports that Indiana “Gov. Mitch Daniels on Wednesday signed a bill passed by the Legislature that makes Indiana the 23rd state to ban labor contracts that require workers to pay union representation fees.” AP also notes that “Protesters upset … showed up with signs during NBC’s ‘Today’ show broadcast from downtown Indianapolis’ Super Bowl village.”

Tithi Bhattacharya is an associate professor at Purdue University and is active with Occupy Purdue. She said today: “Occupy Purdue in co-ordination with several union members and Occupy Bloomington is calling for a demonstration at noon on Sunday at the South Lawn of the state legislature. We stand in solidarity with the union members who came pouring into the statehouse all through last week to protest this union-busting legislation. We stand in solidarity with the NFL Players Union who have come out so strongly against this bill. We want the corporate-backed politicians and the 1% to know that they cannot showcase our state at the Super Bowl while attacking ordinary people and their livelihoods. Lucas Oil Stadium was built with 100% union labor, and as we protest in its shadow we want to honor and fight for that tradition of collective work, and collective power.” Bhattacharya appeared this morning on the program “Democracy Now!