Minnesotans watching the Super Bowl might have spotted a familiar face during the earliest portions of the broadcast. Duluth's Daniel Durant performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" with Reba McEntire just before kickoff — he sang the national anthem in American Sign Language as the country legend belted it out alongside him.
But the camera didn't train its lens much on the Minnesotan, prompting criticism of the programming staff at CBS.
At least one Durant fan correctly predicted that CBS wouldn't give the actor much screentime.
The snub was all the more glaring given how many folks were excited for Durant to perform.
Durant was one of three deaf performers to usher in the contest between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada. Anjel Piñero performed "America The Beautiful" alongside Post Malone and Shaheem Sanchez signed "Lift Every Voice and Sing" with Andra Day.
But none of the Deaf performers was on screen much as the cameras focused on the vocalists during each song.
Durant was born in Detroit and grew up on the North Shore and got his big Hollywood break when he was cast in the Academy Award-winning "CODA" in 2021. He starred in a short film featuring an all-deaf cast and competed on "Dancing With The Stars" the following years, channeling Elvis Presley early in his run and drew praise from the judges for grooving in silence at one point.
The city of Duluth also declared April 5, 2022, as Daniel Durant Day.