Superstar singer Rihanna bowed out of an opportunity to perform at the Superbowl in support of former NFL player turned activist Colin Kaepernick and his kneeling protests against police brutality.
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The beauty and music mogul was reportedly asked to give the halftime show performance at Super Bowl LIII, scheduled for Atlanta in 2019, but declined for a meaningful reason.
“The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” an unnamed source told US Weekly. “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
Rihanna is also following in the footsteps of her mentor, Jay-Z, who also turned down an opportunity to perform at the Superbowl last year to stand with Kap.
Both stars are part of an apparent trend of performers who have decided to sidestep performing at the game, normally seen as an international stage watched by 111.3 million people last February.
Singer Pink, who sang the national anthem at Super Bowl LII, also turned down the chance to sing at halftime, according to Entertainment Tonight.
But the halftime show has been used as a political platform in the past. At Super Bowl XLVII, Beyoncé took the stage with a performance that paid tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Kaepernick, who recently became the new face of Nike in a controversial ad campaign that urged to “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything,” has not played a single down in the NFL since the 2016 season. He remains an unsigned free agent.
After Rihanna’s rejection, the NFL offered the performance to pop-rock group Maroon 5, who accepted.