Rihanna turned down a coveted and lucrative opportunity to headline the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show, it’s been revealed.
According to Us Weekly, Rihanna rejected the offer because she does not agree with how the NFL has handled players who kneel in protest during the US National Anthem (in short, the NFL has tried to enforce rules punishing them for doing so).
In particular, Rihanna wanted to support Colin Kaepernick, the NFL player who started the movement in peaceful protest of police brutality, who has been essentially frozen out of the NFL (he went from being one of the most in-demand players to suddenly unemployed the season after he began protesting). He filed a grievance against NFL team owners alleging they “have colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for” the take-a-knee movement.
“They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy,” a source told the magazine. “She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
Maroon 5 is rumoured to have accepted the offer, and following the reports of Rihanna’s refusal, celebrities including Amy Schumer are calling on them to back out in support of Kaepernick and the right of players to take a knee if they choose to.
Former San Francisco 49ers player Kaepernick has been frozen out of the NFL following his racial justice protest; in support of him, Nike made him the star of their 30thanniversary Just Do It campaign, with the slogan:
“Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
If you haven’t seen the “Dream Crazy” commercial, you really should.