Why Everyone's Talking About Joe And Jill Biden Getting Booed At The Super Bowl

It was meant to be a moment to honor those who fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic. Before Super Bowl LV, a pre-recorded message played, in which President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden recognized those who have lost their lives to COVID-19. "So please join us, the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the National Football League in a moment of silence for the more than 440,000 Americans who lost their lives in this pandemic and for their loved ones who are left behind," the president said (via YouTube).

But instead of the silence, there were those who thought they heard both boos and jeers coming from parts of the crowd. "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? #SuperBowl Wow. That speaks volumes," one social media user tweeted. Another social media user appeared to confirm that the boos had taken place, posting: "So the Biden's were booed and given the finger by Super Bowl fans during a pregame video. Apparently "Dr." Jill is President because she did most of the talking. Wow. That speaks volumes. *Everyone knows."

Biden supporters called out those who might have booed the president

But just as there were critics, there were also Biden supporters, one who also responded to the boo comment to tweet: "I didn't watch the Super Bowl but I read several ignoramuses booed the Bidens after they asked for one stinking moment of silence to commemorate the Covid victims nationally. Since the Bowl took place in Trumpland Florida, no surprise there. Red supporters have no couth, at all."

Another social media user was dismissive of those who might have begun the booing; the poster instead chose to hit out at those who would have disrespected the memories of those who died of COVID-19: "What a disgrace that Bidens were booed for asking for a moment of silence at SB last night to remember 450,000 dead Americans. Half of this country are cruel, selfish, deplorable people. We have 0 moral standing left", the poster wrote

In reporting the possible booing incident, the Independent said it had reached out to the NFL for a comment, but they did not respond.

Fact-checkers cannot verify if the boos and jeers happened

Because no one could be sure if the boos happened, whether they were directed at the president and first lady, or whether the crowds were restive because they wanted the kickoff to happen, fact-checking site Snopes decided to do a bit of multimedia investigating to determine whether the boos and jeers really happened — or whether the whole thing was a massive misunderstanding. Their verdict? "Unproven." The site's writer Nur Ibrahim said it was "conceivable" that among those who had gathered at the stadium to watch the game, there could have been those who had wanted to — and acted on the impulse to boo the president, but that there was no way to confirm or deny that the incident occurred "at this time."

What is undeniable is that while the number of fans who were allowed to watch Sunday's game live was limited, the stadium crowd size was still at 22,000 (one USA Today writer put the number at 25,000) — a third, or about 7,500 of whom were vaccinated healthcare workers. Most of the seats were filled with cardboard cutouts, which sold for $100 each. It was also enough to lead new CDC head Rochelle Walensky to say: "I'm worried about Super Bowl Sunday, quite honestly. People gather, they watch games together. We've seen outbreaks already from football parties. So I really do think that we need to watch this and be careful." (via Independent).