Rihanna reportedly rejected a chance to headline during the Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show because she stands with Colin Kaepernick, according to US Weekly.
A source exclusively told the tabloid that the “Work” singer “does not agree with the NFL’s stance” on kneeling during the national anthem or the league’s treatment of the quarterback.
Kaepernick was one of the first players to take a knee during the national anthem to bring awareness to police brutality and racial injustices.
Several people criticized the kneeling and misinterpreted it to be disrespectful toward the flag and veterans of the military including President Donald Trump who called for players to be fired for the action. The NFL eventually established a kneeling ban.
Although Kaepernick is arguably a great player, he has not been picked up by an NFL team since opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2017.
In September, Kaepernick became the face of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign spreading the message, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Conservatives who are anti-Kaepernick began to protest the athletic company.
Kap’s former teammate, Eric Reid, returned to the field this season with the Carolina Panthers and continued to protest during the anthem. Reid said he would continue to fight for the rights of African-Americans and other people of color.
Kaepernick filed a collusion suit against the NFL and team owners claiming they conspired to keep him out of the league over his protests.
Rihanna joins a slew of other celebrities who support Kaepernick including JAY-Z, Ava DuVernay, Jenifer Lewis and John Legend. The singer has made a point to be aware of how race and body type affect living experiences in her beauty and fashion ventures.
Her makeup line, Fenty Beauty, introduced 40 shades to the market. In September, her fashion presentation of Savage X Fenty, her lingerie line, was the most inclusive in NYFW history including plus size and pregnant models.
Maroon 5 will now headline halftime at Super Bowl, which will take place on Feb. 3 in Atlanta.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.