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NBC Snubbed Miss Deaf America At Super Bowl

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Feb 8, 2012 7:40PM

The NFL and NBC invited the National Association of the Deaf's Miss Deaf America Rachel Mazique to attend Super Bowl XLVI to perform the National Anthem and "America The Beautiful" in American Sign Language. But they proved it to be an empty gesture.

Mazique's performance did not appear on the Jumbotron, nor was it televised. Mazique was not placed to perform anywhere near singers Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton. They didn't even invite her to stay for the game.

A petition was started on, asking NBC for an apology and a promise to treat future performers more equitably. It has about 5,000 signatures already. The letter reads:

This action by NBC (and anyone else) clearly shows that they did not think Ms. Mazique was good enough to be shown on TV even if she was signing the exactly same song that Kelly Clarkson was singing. Ms. Mazique was 'hidden' from the spotlight and this message speaks loudly of what NBC thinks of Deaf individuals.

Mazique is an Arlington Heights, Ill., native and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Texas. Mazique told the Daily Herald, “I truly hope that this becomes a teachable moment for everyone involved, and that American Sign Language renditions of these iconic songs are broadcast in future Super Bowls rather than being a token gesture.”

Below are the videos for the Super Bowl performances of the National Anthem and "America The Beautiful."