Youth National Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman — who spoke at President Joe Biden’s inauguration last month — presented a new piece dedicated to the three “honorary captains” the NFL selected to laud before the big game: educator Trimaine Davis, nurse manager Suzie Dorner, and Marine veteran James Martin. The trio were selected for recognition because they embodied the message of the NFL’s season-long It Takes All of Us campaign.
“Poetry at the Super Bowl is a feat for art and our country, because it means we’re thinking imaginatively about human connection even when we feel siloed,” Amanda tweeted ahead of the show. “I’ll honor three heroes who exemplify the best of this effort. Here’s to them, to poetry, and to a #SuperBowl like no other.”
Check it out below:
“During this incredibly challenging time in our lives, Trimaine, Suzie, and James have exemplified the essence of leadership, each in their own way,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said earlier in a statement. “We are grateful for their commitment and proud to share their stories and recognize them during this special moment on Super Bowl Sunday.”
Davis helped ensure his students in Los Angeles had internet access for remote learning during the pandemic. Donner, who lost two grandparents to complications from Covid-19, has continued to help patients as the nurse manager of the Covid ICU at Tampa General Hospital (this year’s Super Bowl is taking place in Tampa, Florida). And Martin organized livestreaming events in Pittsburgh, including local high school football games, to keep community members virtually connected during the pandemic.
It’s unusual to have a poet recite at the Big Game, but after 22-year-old Gorman’s recitation of her poem “The Hill We Climb” at Biden’s inauguration on January 22nd, she gained a huge fanbase and was one of the most memorable moments. “The Hill We Climb” will be included in Gorman’s upcoming poetry collection of the same name, which will be published on September 21st.
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