Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The controversies surrounding the NFL — including Colin Kaepernick's collusion lawsuit against the league as well as the kneeling debate he sparked — have shrouded the Super Bowl in political drama.

Why it matters: The Super Bowl was once a coveted event at which brands competed for commercial space and celebrities were anxious to perform. But as the nation's politics become more polarized and Kaepernick remains jobless, the league's biggest game has become a lightning rod for controversy.

The details: Celebrities are refusing to be affiliated with the game because of their political stances on issues. Advertisers are outright afraid to buy ad space, the Wall Street Journal reports, because of the assumed political affiliation that comes with the league.

Some celebrities are already opting not to participate.

  • Rihanna declined to perform at the Super Bowl in support of Kaepernick, US Weekly reported.
  • Comedian Amy Schumer said she wouldn't participate in any commercials this year in support of Kaepernick.

Flashback: Last year, there were a record number of ads on political topics including a Budweiser ad on immigration and a Toyota ad rebuking Trump's stances.

Network executives have acknowledged the game has become a political magnet in recent years.

  • ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro admitted as much earlier this year when talking about the network's relationship with the league, but said the more the company leans into political commentary "the more we are alienating, not only our core fans, but our casual fans."

Yes, but: The league's viewership has not suffered this season despite increased caution from celebrities and advertisers.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 20,284,882 — Total deaths: 741,126— Total recoveries: 12,585,473Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 5,141,208 — Total deaths: 164,537 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.
  7. World: Anthony Fauci "seriously" doubts Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe

Ilhan Omar wins Minnesota primary

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) won the Democratic primary against lawyer Antone Melton-Meaux on Tuesday evening, AP reports.

Why it matters: The race is one that's played out across the U.S. as progressives continue to sweep party nominations. Omar's win officially means all four progressive members of "The Squad" have won their primary elections.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

25 face felony charges after downtown Chicago hit by looters

Police officers inspect a damaged Best Buy in Chicago that was looted and vandalized. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Local police officers are seeking felony charges in 25 cases following the arrest of 100 people in the wake of widespread looting and property damage in Chicago on Monday, per the Washington Post.

Driving the news: Law enforcement said the event involving hundreds of people was a coordinated response after an officer shot a suspect Sunday evening, according to CBS Chicago.