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President Joe Biden delivered a pre-recorded message to the fans in attendance for Super Bowl LV that was met with a mixed reaction from the crowd. Prior to the game, CBS aired an interview where the president was asked about the crowd levels returning to normal. “God willing, we’ll be able to celebrate as usual a year from now,” Biden said, per the New York Post.
According to USA Today, there were approximately 25,000 people in attendance to see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. More than 7,500 of those fans were healthcare workers who had been vaccinated. At first glance, the stadium appeared full, but the empty seats were filled with cardboard cutouts.
Just before kickoff, President Biden appeared on the big screen along with his wife, Dr. Jill Biden. As covered by the Daily Mail, he thanked “the frontline healthcare heroes” who were in attendance and watching at home. Biden encouraged people to continue practicing safety protocols and ended his address on a somber note by asking everyone to join “in a moment of silence for the more than 440,000 Americans who lost their lives in this pandemic.”
Several videos circulated online that seemed to capture a chorus of boos from the crowd during the requested moment of silence. Many people watching the game reacted to the negative crowd during the president’s video address.
Joe Biden's moment of silence was not silent
Fans watching the Super Bowl at home could not help but hear that the moment of silence was anything but silent. A myriad of watchers took to Twitter to discuss the outcry of boos, with many finding the act to be disrespectful of not only the president, but of those who had died from COVID-19. “Was that a boo I hear from the crowd when Biden asked for us to have a moment of silence for +400K lost due to the Covid 19? … That speaks volumes,” one person wrote.
“That moment of silence lasted 0 seconds. #SuperBowl,” a Twitter user noticed. “That was the loudest moment of silence ever #SuperBowl,” another remarked. Several Biden detractors were delighted by the seemingly negative crowd reaction. “LMFAO @joebiden just got boo’d at #SuperBowl what a perfect moment for an absolute trash president,” one viewer tweeted. As covered by the Washington Examiner, right-wing political analyst Benny Johnson thought the boos were proof that “[p]eople are tired of the health PSAs.”
One fan watching the broadcast speculated that the simulated crowd noise in the stadium had not been turned down while the Bidens’ video was played, and that was the noise people heard at home.
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