Did Rihanna pass on performing for television’s biggest audience in order to show her solidarity with the NFL’s most controversial player?
That’s the report coming from Us Weekly, which quotes a source who claims that the 30-year-old “Umbrella” singer was offered the headlining spot at the halftime show at 2019’s Super Bowl — an offer she rejected in order to demonstrate that she “supports Colin Kaepernick.”
“The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” the insider tells Us Weekly.
“They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy,” says the source. “She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.” ET Canada reached out to a rep for Rihanna, who declined comment.
Maroon 5 has reportedly been tapped for Super Bowl LIII, with Carbi B rumoured to be joining Adam Levine and the band during the halftime performance (the NFL has yet to officially announce the performer for next year’s Super Bowl, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 3).
A number of celebrities, including Amy Schumer, shared their thoughts on Rihanna’s stance.
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Friday thought. I wonder why more white players aren’t kneeling. Once you witness the truly deep inequality and endless racism people of color face in our country, not to mention the police brutality and murders. Why not kneel next to your brothers? Otherwise how are you not complicit? I think it would be cool if @maroon5 backed out of super bowl like @badgalriri Did. I personally told my reps I wouldn’t do a Super Bowl commercial this year. I know it must sound like a privilege ass sacrifice but it’s all i got. Hitting the nfl with the advertisers is the only way to really hurt them. I know opposing the nfl is like opposing the nra. Very tough, but don’t you want to be proud of how you’re living? Stand up for your brothers and sisters of color. And the hottest thing a guy can do is get down on one knee. Not to propose but to reject the treatment of his teammates by this country. Anyone who says its disrespectful to our military please read up on the fact that a lot of veterans are proud of what @kaepernick7 is doing and fully support him. What are your thoughts?
Kaepernick is currently an unsigned free agent after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers last year amidst controversy over his habit of taking a knee during the U.S. national anthem to protest police violence against African-Americans.
Kaepernick’s former 49ers teammate Eric Reid explained the origin of the protest in an op-ed he wrote for the New York Times, recalling how they discussed how to use their platform as professional athletes to make “a more powerful and positive impact on the social justice movement” to address “many of the issues that face our community, including systemic oppression against people of colour, police brutality and the criminal justice system.”
Ultimately, they decided to kneel, as they “wanted to make a gesture rather than sit… during the anthem as a peaceful protest. We chose to kneel because it’s a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.”
Wrote Reid: “It baffles me that our protest is still being misconstrued as disrespectful to the country, flag and military personnel. We chose it because it’s exactly the opposite. It has always been my understanding that the brave men and women who fought and died for our country did so to ensure that we could live in a fair and free society, which includes the right to speak out in protest.”
Meanwhile, Kaepernick garnered even more controversy in September when the 30-year-old quarterback partnered with Nike for their new “Just Do It” campaign, which he kicked off on Twitter with a close-up photo of his face and the words, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”