We’ve known for a month now that Maroon 5 will headline the Super Bowl halftime show in 2019, but apparently the band wasn’t the NFL’s first choice.
Us Weekly magazine reports that Rihanna had declined an invitation to perform to show her support for Colin Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback who’s become a lightning rod in America for kneeling during the national anthem at games. The free agent, who hasn’t played since the 2016 season, alleges National Football League teams blacklisted him for his silent protest against police brutality and racial inequality.
“The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” a source told Us. “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
Ahead of the start of the football season in the US, Nike also stood with Kaepernick by featuring him in the 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” campaign—a decision that led to much outcry and fans promising to boycott the brand.