If you were hoping to tune out politics by tuning into Super Bowl Sunday, then you turned to the wrong place.
Viewers were bombarded by commercials seeking to capitalize on the civil unrest stemming from controversial and brash decisions by the Trump administration.
The move by corporate America to weigh into the ongoing debates seemed to start before the Super Bowl when Uber and Lyft engaged in a race to the moral high ground.
Uber was accused of breaking picket lines connected to nationwide protests at airports. That criticism extended to protests at Denver International Airport. The protests were in response to executive orders by President Trump temporarily suspending immigration to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries and offering a sweeping prohibition of refugees entering the country.
Competitor Lyft took advantage of the bad publicity against Uber, telling its customers that it wholeheartedly opposes Trump’s directives. The company put its money where its mouth is, donating $1 million over the next four years to the ACLU to fight any unconstitutional actions by Trump.
Uber was compelled to issue a statement largely blasting Trump’s directives. The company is working on a process to identify impacted drivers and compensate them pro bono over the course of the temporary orders. Its chief executive, Travis Kalanick, backed out of sitting on Trump’s business advisory council in the aftermath of the uproar.
Overall, there has been a surge in donations to humanitarian groups and those who defend them in the wake of Trump assuming the Oval Office.
Many commercials during the Super Bowl, which cost a whopping $5 million for a 30-second ad, focused on inclusiveness in the wake of orders that many feel divide and segregate people.
Budweiser ran an ad that showed Adolphus Busch’s journey to the United States from Germany in the 1850s and the discrimination he overcame on his way to success. It was a story of how immigrants shaped the fabric of America.
Coca-Cola aired an older ad depicting Americans of many ethnicities signing a version of “America the Beautiful.”
Airbnb ran a spot that displayed the message, “The world is more beautiful the more you accept.”
Audi advocated for equal pay for women. And 84 Lumber highlighted a Spanish-speaking mother and daughter making their way to the United States.
The reaction to the ads was enormous, with topics trending on social media. Some criticized the companies, but many applauded them for entering the fray.
Some feared that Lady Gaga would turn the game itself political during her halftime show in Houston.
“I believe in a passion for inclusion. I believe in the spirit of equality and the spirit of this country as one of love, and compassion, and kindness,” Gaga said during a press conference ahead of her performance. “My performance will uphold those philosophies.”
While Gaga opened her performance by singing lines from “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land” and announced we are “one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all,” she did not use the massive platform to make overt political statements during her routine.
But that didn’t stop people on social media from turning the contest between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons into a political competition. Many made it a referendum on the recent election, with the Patriots falling in Trump’s camp and the Falcons falling in the anti-Trump squad.
With Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft all having relationships with Trump, people found it hard to disconnect the team from the administration. Brady in 2015 drew fire for placing a red Donald Trump “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker.
Meanwhile, Atlanta has been called a “black mecca,” and it was a hotbed of the civil rights movement, birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In the aftermath of Trump’s presidency, civil rights debates have taken centerstage.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank trolled Kraft ahead of the Super Bowl about his close relationship with Trump. When asked the most famous person in their phones, Blank answered, Kenny Chesney, and then pointed to Kraft and said, “Donald Trump over here.”
After the Patriots secured a stunning comeback win over the Falcons, esteemed political analyst Nate Silver tweeted, “At least the Falcons won the popular vote,” a quip referring to the fact that Trump won the election, despite Democrat Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote.
Drummer and frontman of the Grammy Award-winning band The Roots, Questlove, tweeted after the game, “This is how I felt on election night. #SuperBowl.”
How people reacted to the Patriots win appeared in many cases to revolve around where their support for Trump stood.
“2017 IS THE YEAR OF THE PATRIOTS, FIRST DONALD J TRUMP AND NOW TOM BRADY WHO’S NEXT????? #SuperBowl #TomBrady #MAGA” read one tweet following the game.
“Patriots won on November 8th, 2016. Patriots win again on February 5th, 2017. #MAGA” read another.
“Brady made the NE Patriots great again. Must’ve been the hat! #MAGA”
Uber and Lyft are accustomed to competition. But a new race toward good conscience — highlighted by protests in Denver — offers a glimpse into the morality battle in a Donald Trump era, a war that is reshaping both business and politics. Across social media, #DeleteUber is trending, a plea by those opposed to Trump’s Muslim ban […]
Lawmakers could make it little easier to become an Uber or Lyft driver this session by passing Senate Bill 43. The legislation would eliminate a requirement for a certificate of good health for those driving their personal vehicles to get people around. The legislative term for that is transportation network company. The bill is blessed […]
Close to 2,200 taxi, shuttle and limousine drivers will likely face fewer regulations in the New Year, when the City and County of Denver is expected to stop requiring them to qualify for and obtain “Herdic” licenses.
Such licenses were named for the Herdic cab, a horse-drawn carriage invented by Peter Herdicin in 1881. Herdic cabs were designed as passenger vehicles for public transportation, often painted bright yellow, and were predecessors to the modern taxi cab.
The Denver City Council's Business, Arts, Workforce and Aeronautical Services Committee, at its Wednesday, Nov. 30, meeting, sent an ordinance repealing the Herdic license portion of the municipal code to the full council for consideration. Once approved, the city attorney's office will drop an appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court of a state preemption ruling against the city regarding the rules and regulations.
DENVER — Happy Thursday to you and yours from all of us at the Colorado Statesman. Has it been hard for you getting back in the swing of things following the long (not long enough) Thanksgiving holiday? There, there, we understand. We’ll continue to carry on — making your mornings in Colorado politics more interesting is our goal. (emoji, emoji, emoji!)
As we head into the home stretch of 2016, it’s good to see the wrangling and jockeying taking place at the state Capitol. Twenty-three days after the election, things were just too quiet. And who could ignore the whispers and rumors of political races in 2018, 2020 or even the upcoming assemblies? Let the games begin!
Almost any weekday this summer you could spot Denver conventioneers on 16th Street Mall shuttles by the colorful lanyards adorning their necks. It’s usually easy to discern whether these are visiting dentists, geologists, accountants or lawyers after a quick glance at their badges. But the recent 84th Annual Meeting of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) was a head scratcher. Seriously, who knew there was an International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association?
Hosted in Denver by our very own E-470 Authority, the operators of tolled roads, bridges, HOV/HOT lanes and their vendors from across the country — and world —— assembled to rub elbows and celebrate what they view as a promising business opportunity. With politicians afraid to raise taxes and, in Colorado, voters reluctant to approve them, tolling has a bright future.
Casper Stockham idles at the curb on a crowded LoDo street at about 10 p.m., scanning the pedestrians who are surging and meandering in front of a popular Mexican restaurant. The Denver Broncos are playing just blocks away and the night is bustling, the sounds of cheers and music spilling onto the sidewalk. After a few minutes, a woman in her late 20s pokes her head in the open passenger window and asks, “Are you Casper? Are you my Uber?” Stockham smiles and leans across the seat. “That’s me,” he says. “Get in, and we’ll get you where you’re going.”
Colorado’s newest taxi company has been authorized to be its largest right off the bat.
The Public Utilities Commission just approved the 800-member Green Taxi Cooperative’s application to serve seven metro Denver counties. President Abdi Buni said it plans to start operations on the evening of July 4 by offering four hours of free rides.
Metro Taxi, largest of the legacy cab companies, protested Green’s application and has the right to request a rehearing but probably won’t. Green, the first company to get started under the legislature’s 2015 law liberalizing taxi regulation, won approval from the PUC’s staff and an administrative law judge before getting a unanimous thumbs-up from the three-member PUC.