While it is already well-established that Rihanna is less of a performer and more of a guardian angel sent from the heavens to bless us commoners with her presence, this latest story only adds to her illustrious aura.
US Weekly reports that Rihanna was the first choice to perform during the 2019 Super Bowl half-time show, only for the Umbrella singer to decline in solidarity with former San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
According to Us Weekly’s source, “The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta… They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
In 2016, Colin Kaepernick famously began taking a knee during the US national anthem in protest against police brutality and in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Since then, Kaepernick has not been able to land a contract with another NFL team. Colin filed a grievance suit last November, accusing the NFL and its teams of colluding to keep him out of the league.
It should be noted that this is not the first time a performer has told the NFL to take their request elsewhere: rapper Jay-Z was approached to perform at this year’s Super Bowl, only to also give the organisation the cold shoulder in support of Kaepernick.
He referenced these events in the song “APESHIT”:
I said no to the Super Bowl: you need me, I don’t need you
Every night we in the end zone, tell the NFL we in stadiums too
Although it is considered the highest of honours with more history behind it than some small countries, the Super Bowl halftime show is notoriously an unpaid gig; The idea is that the NFL would essentially be giving you free commercial airtime during the biggest sporting event of the year.
This would, in theory, translate into album sales or ticket sales for upcoming tours. So for anyone to turn it down is a big deal and a huge reversal of the power dynamic at play.
Instead, you can expect Maroon 5 to croon their way through the Super Bowl halftime show this coming February.
Which is fine, I guess. But it’s not Rihanna.