As we may have heard (through various sources - Facebook, Twitter, blogs and vlogs, etc) of the issue that occured during the recent Superbowl game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. Namely during the preshow tradition of selecting a celebrity to sing the national anthem - as well as having someone sign it. This year was no exception. Kelly Clarkson did a great job singing the anthem (and she did not flub the words! Yay for her!) as well as "America the Beautiful". Our own Miss Deaf America - Rachel Mazique - was chosen to present a sign language rendition of the song.
Yet when NBC aired the presentation, there was no cutaway shots to Miss Mazique or any peeks of her beautiful signs. No opportunity for millions of viewrs to catch a glimpse into the world of the Deaf. No opportunity for the Deaf community to be proud of one of their own. No opportunity to present ASL on the 'big screen' for all to see.
Even Miss Mazique was not asked to stay for the game itself. (Meaning she did not see Madonna's AWESOME show during intermission - er - half time. (Pardon my ignorance of sports-related terminology- there is a reason I'm in the arts field!)
Why promote an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (through a joint collaboration between Pepsi and NAD) that doesn't even make it on national TV?
There is a petition going around demanding that NBC and the NFL issue an apology to Miss Mazique and the Deaf community for this potential 'snub'.
You can view (and /or sign) the petitions at http://www.change.org/
For more information, do check out Chicago's coverage at http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/02/07/supporters-no-one-saw-miss-deaf-america-at-super-bowl/
While I, myself, am not a sports fan, I do feel the need to support a fellow sister as Rachel (former Miss Deaf Illinois) and I (as former Miss Deaf Minnesota) competed together at NAD's 2010 Miss Deaf American program - and the fact that we both grew up ten minutes away from each other in the suburbs of Chicago : )