Proving there are actually some decent people left in America, Rihanna has turned down an invitation to headline the halftime show at Super Bowl LIII, that decision meaning declining a big paycheque, and mega-exposure to a global audience.
The singer's decision is directly tied to her support for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who's been exiled from the NFL after his highly publicized anthem protests.
Kaepernick started a wave of controversy last season when he began kneeling instead of standing during the American national anthem to draw attention to the way blacks are treated in the U.S. The protest caught on to the point where the NFL subsequently announced a ban on kneeling—that leading to charges that the league is tone-deaf to the political climate in the States.
Entertainment Weekly reported that Rihanna decided it was more important to support Kaepernick than to cash in. The EW article includes the following. “Rihanna was the front-runner for next year’s super bowl halftime show. CBS and the NFL reached out to Rihanna first, who after thinking about the offer, decided to pass due to the NFL and the situation regarding players kneeling. The offer and exposure would have been great for Rihanna as she’s planning a new album and tour but she stuck to what’s right in her eyes."
EW also reports that Pink also turned down an offer to play. At the moment Maroon 5 has accepted an invitation to play the halftime show.
Kaepernick has become a lightning rod for both sides on the kneeling debate since he first began protesting during the national anthem. The political right, including President Donald Trump, has repeatedly blasted him as unpatriotic. He's won massive accolades on the left for taking a stance on race relations in the States, with Nike building an entire advertising campaign around him.
Back to Rihanna: she's actually from Barbados, which might get one wondering why it takes an outsider to show America how to make an honourable decision. Maroon 5 might want to take a look at the memo.More