On February 3, 2019, at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Maroon 5 will bust out moves like Jagger for one of the most watched television broadcasts in the world: the Super Bowl. As it turns out, though, they weren't the first group tapped to headline the halftime show. According to a slew of reports, the NFL approached Rihanna to grace the stage, but the Anti singer turned the offer down out of support for former 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.
US Weekly reports Rihanna was the league's first choice to perform during the coveted halftime set, but in true RiRi fashion, she snubbed them to stand in solidarity with Kaepernick. The former football star is currently in a legal battle against the NFL, which has blacklisted him after he knelt during the national anthem in protest against racial inequality and police brutality.
"The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta," an anonymous source told the outlet. "They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance."
By "stance," they meant the league's policy of requiring players and team personnel to "stand and show respect for the flag and the national anthem." Anyone who does not wish to follow is free to protest, although it has to be done in the locker room or an area far from the field — away from the public's eye.
As one of the biggest pop stars in the world, Rihanna's refusal to collaborate with an institution that's discouraging people from taking a stand is inspiring. The Super Bowl has long been regarded as a platform artists can use to expand their audiences and showcase larger-than-life performances, and Rihanna's absence is the most powerful statement she can give.
Celebrities like Amy Schumer, Tinashe, Jameela Jamil, and Kathy Griffin all took to social media to show support for the Ocean's 8 star.
Schumer even went as far as to suggest Maroon 5 should follow suit and boycott the show.
Do you support Rihanna's reported refusal to headline the Super Bowl? Let us know in the comments!