By: Brianna Lopez and Jimmy Muniz Jr.
The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl LIV trophy and Miami residents were amazed by the impact it had on the city.
From Shakira and Jennifer Lopez’s legendary half time show to different Super Bowl events throughout the city to even the controversies surrounding sex trafficking at the big games, The Buccaneer is giving you all you need to know about this year’s championship.
The Half-Time Show:
Shakira opened the show with her hit “She Wolf,” followed by “Whenever, Whenever,” and “Hips Don’t Lie.” Fans all around the world were pleasantly surprised when the beat dropped and Shakira began remixing “I Like It,” while bringing out Puerto Rican star Bad Bunny.
Shortly after, cameras focused on Jennifer Lopez and her entourage as she sat at the top of a glowing stripper pole. Lopez began her set by singing “Jenny from the Block,” and subsequently brought out Latin artist J Balvin for “Que Calor.” She gave her daughter the debut of a lifetime, who opened with the song “Let’s Get Loud,” and J.Lo showed her Puerto Rican pride by showcasing the flag on stage.
The two came together just before Shakira sang the final song, “Waka Waka” while performing a Colombian dance called “Champeta,” which originated in Shakira’s hometown, Barranquilla. The dance is respected for its footwork and its important part in Colombian culture.
Although some fans raved about the entertainment appeal of the performance, others recognized the stronger political message. Lopez’s daughter was accompanied by many other children, who were shown singing in cages. In addition, Lopez proudly draped herself in the Puerto Rican flag while singing “Born in the USA,” two messages many people think were directly intended to jab at the Trump administration.
It didn’t take long for social media to be flooded with good and bad opinions. While social media critics thought it was inappropriate, it skewed toward a male audience or focused too much on Hispanic culture, Barry students had good things to say.
Sophomore athletic training major Kayla Padilla appreciated the spotlight on Latinos.
“I loved the fact that the Hispanic community was represented. You don’t see it often, which is unfortunate,” said Padilla.
Grace Pichet, a sophomore athletic training major, agrees, and said that the half-time show was fitting for Miami’s diverse population.
“Miami’s culture is a melting pot,” she said.
Although Super Bowl LIV’s half time show was the event to be at, Miami hosted several Super Bowl events that also had the city getting loud.
Events around Miami:
Fan Fest was the event to be at if you didn’t have Super Bowl tickets but wanted to get the NFL experience. Hard Rock Stadium and the Miami Dolphins Organization provided fans with the ability to do football drills and play interactive games outside the stadium.
Sophomore sports management major Mervin Medina attended Fan Fest and said he really enjoyed the experience.
“It exposed me to different fans and how they react to such an important game,” he said.
Another event was the NFL Experience, which allowed fans to do a variety of hands-on activities that NFL players do at practices, gyms, or games. There were also displays with players’ jerseys, hall of fame awards, and the Super Bowl trophy, with which fans took pictures.
Sophomore pre-veterinary major Yemis Gutierrez enjoyed attending this event because it wasn’t just focused on the two teams playing in the big game.
“The event was for everyone who enjoys football rather than just the fans of the Chiefs and 49ers,” said Gutierrez.
This is the same experience sophomore sports psychology major Paige Pokryfke had at the NFL Alumni and Hall of Famers brunch. At this event, fans saw players get interviewed about their experience playing the game. There was even an invite-only auction of jerseys, pictures, and helmets.
These events marked yet another iconic Super Bowl. However, the presence of sex trafficking issues surrounds big games like this often.
The Buccaneer spoke to Nadia Porter, the founder and director of the Outreach program at Glory House Miami, a non-profit organization partnered with sex-trafficking awareness system 611 Network. Porter said that sex trafficking is a huge by-product of big games like the Super Bowl but makes it clear that the NFL itself is not at fault.
“Demand is statistically created by white, American men who have expendable income,” said Porter.
Bringing the Super Bowl to Miami increased the demand for sex during the week’s festivities. Subsequently, more women are forced to meet the need and are sucked into the industry.
According to another non-profit organization in our backyard, the number of prostitution-centered classified ads found online increase during any Superbowl host city, anywhere from 30 percent to 300 percent.
During last year’s Super Bowl in Atlanta, CNN reported an effort organized by Theresa Flores who provided soap to women in need.
Flores created S.O.A.P, or Stop Adolescents from Prostitution, and brought more than 60,000 bars of soap to hotel rooms in Atlanta. On the back of these soap bars was the phone number of the National Human Trafficking Hotline, which could protect potential sex trafficking victims.
Outreach aimed to combat this issue in Miami.
Porter explained that their faith-based organization exists to bring spiritual and physical freedom to those caught in the sex trade. Volunteers go directly to where sex trafficking is happening to stop it.
During Super Bowl LIV weekend, volunteers went to common places where sex trafficked women are found and offered their services.
“We offer them faith-based resources: the love of God, someone to talk to, and even rescue options,” Porter said.
The organization offers to take the women somewhere safe and put them into programs that can help them heal from their experiences. Even if the women declined, the organization stood by them in support.
Outreach doesn’t try to change or save them if that is not what they want. Outreach aims to share God with victims and help them if they wish to be helped.
Porter said that there are small things that Barry students can do to help combat the sex trafficking epidemic.
“Educate yourself. There are many organizations, many programs bringing awareness. Learn more information and be empowered to do something about it,” she said.
Porter recommends going to 611 network to learn more about how you can play a role in combating the sex trafficking issue.
Despite the darker side of it, for one weekend, the Barry community and the city of Miami were invested in Super Bowl LIV’s takeover. It brought a half time show that will go down in history, fun events, and a chance for people to educate themselves on issues that stretch beyond the sport.