It looks like it’s going to take a small army to protect these things from vandals.

As predicted, things continue to not go well for San Francisco’s big, some would argue ugly, Super Bowl 50 statues.

It was just a few days ago that this site chronicled the vandalism of several of the new artworks—solar panels torn off, paint splashed on, letters rearranged into the cryptic “SUPERB OWL." That turned out to be just the opening salvo in an all-out war, with more statues tipped over or altered to read “SUP BRO,” “UP R BOWEL,” and “LEE ROBS,” the last being a likely reference to Mayor Ed Lee and the huge cost of the event. A particularly hard-hit one was also just removed, presumably for repair or to prevent other widely publicized attacks.

(The NFL didn’t respond to an earlier email asking if it planned to protect the statues.)

The vandals haven’t left helpful notes about motivation, but many locals have expressed frustration with the Super Bowl’s snarling of public transit—a worry well-expressed in this profane map—as well as the city kicking homeless camps off the streets. When the dust settles after February 7, perhaps all these statues can finally achieve artistic value in a museum exhibit about a community violently uniting against corporate sports.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A view of a Harlem corner.
    Equity

    How Ronald Reagan Halted the Early Anti-Gentrification Movement

    An excerpt from Newcomers, a new book by Matthew L. Schuerman, documents the early history of the anti-gentrification and back-to-the-city movements.

  2. photo: A metro train at Paris' Gare Du Nord.
    Transportation

    Can the Paris Metro Make Room for More Riders?

    The good news: Transit ridership is booming in the French capital. But severe crowding now has authorities searching for short-term solutions.

  3. photo: Mayor Luigi Brugnaro walks on St Mark's Square as exceptionally high tidal flooding engulfed the city.
    Environment

    Venice Faces ‘Apocalyptic’ Flooding

    Seasonal acqua alta reached the highest level since 1966, leaving two dead and devastating damage. The city’s ambitious flood barrier isn’t ready yet.

  4. photo: A woman crosses an overpass above the 101 freeway in Los Angeles, California.
    Transportation

    Navigation Apps Changed the Politics of Traffic

    In an excerpt from the new book The Future of Transportation, CityLab’s Laura Bliss adds up the “price of anarchy” when it comes to traffic navigation apps.

  5. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

×