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Sunday, February 7, 2016

"Justice 4 Mario Woods" at the Super Bowl: Beyonce Dancers, Alicia Keys, Adrian Peterson

Posted By on Sun, Feb 7, 2016 at 8:28 PM

click to enlarge mario_woods.jpg
Supporters of Mario Woods, the 26-year-old black man shot to death by San Francisco police after an alleged stabbing Dec. 2, managed to display their message at the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl, but not before television cameras broadcasting to a world wide audience.

After Black Lives Matter-affiliated activists shut down the Bay Bridge on Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, there was concern that Super Bowl 50 or one of the many events over the NFL's weeklong taxpayer subsidized party would be similarly upset.

But aside from a demonstration of Uber drivers upset over pay cuts and a rally against homelessness on Wednesday outside Super Bowl City at the Embarcadero, Super Bowl 50 came and went without disruption from a major protest.

Instead, dancers in Beyonce's Michael Jackson/Black Panthers-themed halftime show posed for a photo while holding a small handwritten sign saying, "Justice for Mario Woods."
And at Super Bowl City's headlining free concert, singer Alicia Keys mentioned Woods by name during a brief plea for social justice.

Earlier in the week, protesters affiliated with a local group called the Mario Woods Coalition demonstrated outside of the NFL owners' dinner, hosted by Mayor Ed Lee at City Hall, a night after rallying at the Embarcadero in support of the homeless people allegedly displaced from there to make way for the Super Bowl City fan village.

Tight security may have foiled at attempts at something grand or Bay Bridge-level. Security at Super Bowl City was tight: police on Wednesday detained and cited with a misdemeanor one demonstrator who was taking photos of police.

Those demonstrators are upset with the tent city that appeared under the US-101 overpass near 13th and Division streets, though in the agitation over the city's handling of Woods's death, there are many common sympathizers. 
As for efforts to get a major celebrity in town espouse Woods's cause, which has sometimes failed to draw much attention outside of the Bay Area, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who missed most of last season after a child abuse case involving his son, was captured on video uttering support for Woods.

Uber drivers did assemble on Sunday outside of Levi's Stadium, causing a mild incident before dispersing, according to police, but for viewers at home around the world, the broadcast and show appeared to go on, despite some rumors that something was afoot...

It was only later, at about 6:30 p.m., when Twitter account @BLMBAYAREA tweeted a brief video of several of Beyonce's halftime show dancers holding a small sign and holding up their fists in the Black power salute, that it appeared there had been more.
As of Sunday night, it wasn't clear how the photo came about. Check back for more updates. 

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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.

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