As excited as every marketer is for today’s big game, there are a few of us that are paying close attention for reasons that don’t involve touchdowns. Colin Kaepernick sent shock waves through the NFL when he first took a knee in 2016 and while many have moved on to other issues, I simply haven’t. The NFL has gone out of its way to make us forget that the only major thing they have done to address the issue of social injustices faced by black people in the United States, is to tell its players to stay in the locker room during the anthem…and then back out on that policy. Since then, the NFL has been pretty darn quiet about issues that impact 70% of its players. 70%. Wow. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that exactly 0% of upper management (team CEOs or presidents) are black. The point is…the NFL has some work to do. I, for one, have debated all morning the impact of supporting an organization that seems to care so little about a minority group that keeps it afloat. However, I find it necessary in my line of work to see the Super Bowl advertisements as they first occur. Getting a first glimpse at the companies that are using their voices to lift up minority groups in our country is and always will be my favorite thing. I applaud Colin Kaepernick and the social justice movement he started. I hope the fight rages on…and I look forward to seeing if anyone new picks a fight in the ads tonight. Advertisers have a responsibility to represent those with voices that aren’t quite so loud. In today’s marketplace, Inclusion isn’t an option. It is a responsibility.