Rihanna has never been a woman to shy away from her values. Which is why we aren’t really surprised the “Umbrella” singer gave a hard pass to performing at next year’s Super Bowl Halftime show.
According to a report in Us Weekly, the NFL reportedly approached Rihanna to be its 2019 halftime entertainer. But she declined the offer as she’s firmly in support of Colin Kaepernick.
“The NFL and Fox really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” an unidentified source shared with 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. She supports Colin Kaepernick.”
Kaepernick, as you may recall, famously kneeled during the national anthem during his time as the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers as a way to peacefully protest police violence in America against the black community.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in 2016. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
At the time, the NFL stated, “…we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.” His coach Chip Kelly added that Kaepernick’s decision not to stand during the national anthem is “his right as a citizen” and “it’s not my right to tell him not to do something.”
However, Kaepernick went into free agency the following year and his contract was not renewed. He has never received an offer from another team, a move that he feels the NFL perpetrated by blacklisting him from the sport. Kaepernick filed a collusion grievance against thee NFL.
After Rihanna said thanks but no thanks, the NFL reportedly moved on and asked Maroon 5 to put on the show instead. They reportedly agreed, though no confirmation has come from either the NFL or the band.
As for who may join them onstage, Us Weekly reported that the band has Cardi B in mind.
“She is definitely being considered, but it’s obviously way too early to say for sure,” another source added. “Pepsi, the NFL and Cardi are all interested in her performing more than just her ‘Girls Like You’ verse.”