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Why KFC's Kirk Cousins Commercial Is Receiving Major Criticism Online

NFL games and fast food promotions go hand-in-hand. When people are watching a game at home with friends, they're probably chowing down on pizza or a bucket of chicken. But a recent commercial for KFC has some people online raising their eyebrows. 

YouTuber Dennis Kash uploaded a video of the ad that sees Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins get interviewed regarding how quarterbacks often lick their fingers to get a better grip on the ball. Cousins reveals getting a good grip isn't the reason that happens at all. Instead, he claims they lick their fingers to get the flavor from KFC on the ball, stating, "A little extra flavor makes the wide receivers work harder for the ball."

Many have taken issue with the statement in the context of how many wide receivers in the NFL are Black, and a harmful stereotype with roots going back to the American Civil War exists about how Black people love fried chicken. The idea of making Black players work harder by putting fried chicken flavor on a football has resulted in heavy criticism online. The YouTube video is filled with comments like "This seems so oddly racist right now" and "Damn Kirk. Bad look smh." The KFC Kirk Cousins commercial has caused quite a stir and is just yet another scandal in the fast-food giant's history

Viewers wonder who approved the KFC Kirk Cousins commercial

Much-needed conversations are taking place regarding greater representation at all corporate levels. That means not just having greater diversity in front of the camera to make it look like a company is diverse but having individuals from marginalized groups actually have a say in what goes in front of that camera. It seems as though that step was missed, and many people online are calling out the KFC Kirk Cousins commercial for the tone-deaf statement relating to making wide receivers work harder.

This can be seen across social media. Many have discussed it in a thread in the NFL subreddit, with u/charbo187 writing, "Wow that kirk cousins commercial was racist AF... he said he puts KFC chicken grease on the football to make the WRs go up and get it... What a savage." Many people also took to Twitter to voice their confusion and outrage, like @mfarrelltdx saying, "Did that KFC commercial where Kirk Cousins said fried chicken makes the wide receivers work harder for the ball really just happen, or am I that sleep deprived?" @ffrealtalk was on the same page, "Who the hell approved that KFC commercial with Kirk Cousins? At worst overt racism, at best completely tone-deaf. How does s*** like this get approved in times like these???"

It goes to show how there's still much work to be done in improving race relations in this country and how greater diversity is just as important now as it ever was. Hopefully, KFC will avoid another mishap like this in the future, but given how often corporations make tone-deaf ads and products, it'd be best not to hold one's breath.