SJones poverty

In “Creed” Philadelphia fights poverty

“We’re Philadelphia and we fight.”

That’s what Chip Kelly said early in his tenure as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. His statement was true, but not for the reasons that Kelly probably thought.

We don’t fight because of our association with the rags-to-riches story of fictional boxer Rocky Balboa.

We fight because deep lines of demarcation separate neighborhoods, racial groups, and cultures in our city. We fight, quite frankly, because we have the highest poverty rate of America’s 10 largest cities, and fighting is the only way out.

It’s hard to understand poverty’s nature from afar. One can only truly grasp it after meeting it face to face.

That’s why I’m confused by the debate over the depiction of poverty in “Creed,” the latest film in the “Rocky” franchise. As I’ve watched the back-and-forth, I’ve often wondered if those who are most offended might consider working to alleviate poverty for real people. It would be more constructive than fighting poverty in a film.

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Illustration by Richard Harrington

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