In the wake of a tightly contested, overtime game, the phrase Super Bowl Massacre took over the internet. The three words though, had nothing to do with the score or the result, but with the Israel-Palestine War.
As the Kansas City Chiefs faced off with the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas’s Allegiant stadium, Israel bombed Rafah, a Palestinian city that military officials had encouraged Palestinians to migrate to for safety.
Almost 70 people were killed in what Palestinians told the New York Times was a “night full of horror.”
The bombing came after President Joe Biden reportedly told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that a planned offensive on Rafah “should not proceed” without a safety plan for the city’s Palestinian civilians. According to reports the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) attacked the city by air and sea.
Videos online in the immediate aftermath showed some of the destruction in the city.
Some online thought the timing of it all was too coincidental to be true: As the world was transfixed by the biggest sporting event in the world, did the IDF take advantage of the distraction to attack Rafah?
“THEY BOMBED RAFAH DURING THE SUPERBOWL SO NO ONE WOULD NOTICE,” an X user tweeted.
“Israel has chosen to begin bombing over a million Palestinians in Rafah during the Super Bowl. I doubt this is a coincidence,” another wrote. “There’s nothing we can do to stop this but please don’t be silent. Even if you’re watching the game, use your voice to condemn genocide in this moment.”
“Dropping this image while the ‘safe zone’ of Rafah in Palestine is CURRENTLY being bombed during the Super Bowl is some sinister shit,” author George M. Johnson tweeted, calling out Biden for posting a meme during the game.
The attack received so much attention and backlash that #SuperBowlMassacre trended on X.
“Israel … used the cover of the Super Bowl to launch an all out land, sea, and air massacre on the border town of Rafah, where Gaza refugees have been told to flee to for safety since the start of the assault months ago,” said one post with a meme from the game that’s already become famous.