By Stacy M. Brown

NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Maybe it was Usher’s star-studded halftime show that inspired the Kansas City Chiefs and their superstar quarterback Pat Mahomes in the second half to win their third Super Bowl in four years with a thrilling 25-22 OT victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas. Or, perhaps, it was just inevitable that Mahomes, a Black quarterback was inspired by the pregame singing of “Lift Every Voice,” and the bold “End Racism” sign painted at each end zone. Or could it have been a combination of all of the above along with the specter of playing a 49ers team where Colin Kaepernick took a stand for Black Lives Matter that’s cost him a football career?

Former San Francisco 49ers star Terrell Owens said the decision to kneel during “The Star-Spangled Banner” was not going to reverberate across the NFL and extend outside the football boundaries as well as create a fervent backlash. “I never would have thought it would have created the firestorm that it has,” Owens said during a recent interview on “The Jason Lee Show.” “Never thought this guy would never step back on the football field because of that. “But it really shed light on really kinda how this world works and really how a lot of the White people see us. For so many years, we’ve tried to voice that, I mean, 400-plus something years we’ve been telling you these are some of the things that have been going on and it took … like I said, who would’ve thought that it took a knee to bring all of this back to life.” When Lee mentioned Jay-Z partnering with the NFL to help the league’s entertainment sphere

in the wake of Kaepernick’s protest, Owens said he did not like that happening.

“I don’t like that because you’re addressing it at that time … where’s the momentum of what is going on? Where’s the continuation of really trying to rectify or bring some type of solution to it?” Owens said. “Not just for the moment. It’s continued work. It’s not just for that moment and you address it and it’s swept under the rug after a few weeks or a couple of months and then like you said, it’s business back to usual. It has to be continued effort to rectify some of these things.”

Whatever it was, Patrick Mahomes again proved why he’s worth every penny of his mega $500 million-plus contract and why, on the football field at least, he overshadows all the Travis Kelce-Taylor Swift noise. Mahomes helped Kansas City overcome a stifling 49ers defense and San Francisco’s potent offense after being stymied in the first half. The Chiefs trailed 10-3 at the half, and it appeared they couldn’t figure out how to break through the 49er’s defense, while the Chiefs’ own defense had all kinds of trouble limiting Brock Purdy and his offense.

While they gathered in the locker room after two quarters, Usher took center stage and not only whipped out all of his classic hits but brought out several A-list superstars to punctuate the Apple Music Halftime Show. With Alicia Keys joining in with her hit, “If I Ain’t Got You,” and the collab “My Boo,” chart-topper H.E.R. rocked the Allegiance Stadium crown with a blistering solo on U Got It Bad. then joined Usher on “OMG,” and Jermaine Dupri, Lil Jon, and Ludacris helped close Usher’s set with “Yeah.”

After the halftime spectacle, the teams return to the field and the Chiefs got the ball to start the second half, but they didn’t solve the 49ers. At least not immediately. However, Kansas City’s defense finally figured out Purdy, and the trick plays that punctuated San Francisco’s first-half dominance, and Mahomes worked his magic. After yielding an overtime field goal to the 49ers, the Chiefs had to at least match that to keep the game going under the new NFL OT rules that allow both teams to have the ball on offense. A pivotal 4th down conversion helped propel the Chiefs before Mahomes threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman, and Kansas City became the NFL’s ninth repeat Super Bowl champs. “With all the adversity we’ve been through this season to come through tonight. … I’m proud of the guys,” said Mahomes, who earned his third Super Bowl MVP award. “This is awesome. Legendary.” The 28-year-old Mahomes becomes the fourth starting quarterback to win three Super Bowls — joining Brady, Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, and Troy Aikman — and second youngest.

“I am going to celebrate tonight, celebrate at the parade, and then work my way to get back in this game next year,” Mahomes said. “I am going to do whatever I can to be back in this game next year. Three-peat.”