Rihanna was set to rock the stage in Atlanta come February next year when Super Bowl 53 reaches halftime – until she turned it down.
The pop superstar told the NFL no and cited her support for Colin Kaepernick, who is still out of the league after kneeling during the National Anthem in effort to bring awareness to police brutality and racism in the United States.
After her rejection, the NFL turned towards Maroon 5, who accepted the gig. Though of course Adam Levine and the popular band didn’t turn down the chance, others are calling of them to. 50,000 others.
A Change.org petition to have Maroon 5 drop out of the half time performance to support the former 49ers quarterback has reached 50,000 signatures and counting.
The petition reads –
Rihanna has reportedly turned down the opportunity to perform in front of over 100 million people at the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show. Why? She supports Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who has been exiled from the NFL because of his decision to kneel during the national anthem.
Kaepernick risked his career to take a knee for equality, and the NFL punished him for it. Until the league changes their policy and support players’ constitutional right to protest, no artists should agree to work with the NFL. Join me in asking Maroon 5 to drop out of the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show.
Rihanna is not the first major artist to turn down the Super Bowl halftime show. Jay-Z turned down a request to perform at the 2017 Super Bowl, and even addressed it in his 2018 song “Apesh*t.” The lyrics say, “I said no to the Super Bowl: you need me, I don’t need you. Every night we in the endzone, tell the NFL we in stadiums too,” while the music video shows a line of men on one knee.
Comedian Amy Schumer has also weighed in, praising Rihanna and encouraging Maroon 5 to follow her lead and step down. Schumer also said that she will refuse to do any commercials that would air during the big game. “Hitting the NFL with the advertisers is the only way to really hurt them,” she said.
Maroon 5 has made music over the years featuring artists from all genres, including Rihanna, Cardi B and Kendrick Lamar — all of whom have publicly supported Kaepernick in his decision to protest the violent racism sweeping the United States. Maroon 5 must do the same. The band has a chance to stand on the right side of history. If they don’t, they will be remembered for choosing to side with the NFL over its players.
The band’s lead singer, Adam Levine, has not shied away from politics in the past. He has been a strong supporter of same sex marriage and LGBT rights. The band even changed the location of a show because the venue supported anti-gay marriage laws. If the band can take a stand for LGBT rights, they should do the same for these players.
Colin Kaepernick has sacrificed his NFL career to call out violent racism in America, and players across the country have followed his lead. Rihanna, Jay-Z, Amy Schumer and others have refused to work with the NFL. Maroon 5: Americans look to artists and celebrities as leaders, and you have huge opportunity to use your influence to take a stand.
Sign to tell Maroon 5 to drop out of the Super Bowl halftime show in solidarity with Kaepernick and players who #TakeAKnee.