Protesters at Lucas Oil Stadium Shouldn't Be Allowed to Distract From Super Bowl 2012 Festivities

Ticketholders looking to see the New York Giants and New England Patriots face off at Lucas Oil Stadium this Sunday will be greeted with more than your typical tailgate with beer and wings.

Indiana labor unions in the spirit of the Occupy movements have already begun protesting in front of the site of this year’s Super Bowl, criticizing the state’s new right-to-work law.

Signed by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who gave the Republican response to Obama’s State of the Union Address, the law does not allow labor unions to force workers to pay mandatory union fees. The dissension surrounding the new law once again begs the question whether politics and sports should collide, and in particular, whether protesting at a nationally recognized event like the Super Bowl actually benefits a political movement.  

 The Super Bowl, as well as any big sports event, generates significant revenue to cities that fortunate enough to host them. Sports have the unique ability to unite people not just of the same region, but of different social classes. However, people head to baseball fields and the basketball courts, or turn their television sets on Sunday nights to forget their personal problems for two to three hours.

Some laws possess such importance that they must be passed immediately, but clearly this one could have waited. The law already comes at a daring time, seeing that it is an election year and politicians never seek to disrupt the status quo to destroy their chances of re-election. Limiting the unions disturbs the status quo and clearly leads them to do what they do best — protests — but to do it days before a national event is even bolder.

 The protests throw in specs of reality people attending the Super Bowl seek to avoid. No one wants to think about their jobs back home or really care about what’s going on in Indiana politics at that time; they just want to see the teams move the chains and Madonna sing. What good comes from passing out protest pamphlets when people will toss them aside or throw up on them?

The Occupy Wall Street protests held such vigor in its beginning, only to lose its steam due to differing motivations and ideologies. While the initial concept has such promise and justifiable cause, the people involved and the location of any protests gauge its success. In this case, leave the laws at the legislators’ offices and the defensive schemes at the gridiron.

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