Rihanna Turns Down Super Bowl Halftime Show to Protest Trump
Singer declines performance to support anti-American NFL players
Pop star Rihanna has turned down the opportunity to perform at the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime Show to show her support for anti-Trump NFL players.
The singer declined to perform at the Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show in support of Colin Kaepernick and other anti-American football stars who choose to "take the knee" during the national anthem to protest Donald Trump's presidency, according to a report out Thursday.
Speaking to Us Weekly, a source says the 30-year-old "Umbrella" singer disagrees with the NFL's stance on kneeling during the national anthem and has turned down the offer of performing at the game in Atlanta, Georgia on February 3, 2019.
It's reported both the broadcasting network, CBS, and the National Football League wanted the star – whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty – to take to the stage at the huge sporting event as their first choice.
The source told the news outlet that organizers "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.”
According to Fox News, Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, began kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games during the 2016 season to call attention to social injustices and racial inequality.
It's since sparked a national discussion about patriotism and has drawn the ire of President Trump.
More recently, Kaepernick sparked controversy after he kicked off his "Just Do It" campaign with Nike.
The company released an ad featuring Kaepernick's face with the quote, "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything," superimposed on top of it.
According to the Daily Mail, Rihanna's has a long-running feud with the NFL and CBS which stems back to 2014 when she lashed out at them on social media for pulling one of her songs from a show.
Run This Town, a track she features on with Jay Z and Kanye West, was cut from Thursday Night Football after a domestic violence video featuring footballer Ray Rice emerged.
Rihanna, whose own domestic violence problem with Chris Brown was played out in public in 2009, criticized the network for 'penalizing' her.
"CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? NO, F**k you! Y'all are sad for penalizing me for this," she tweeted at the time.
Liberal celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen and other fans with huge followings chimed in to show their support for her speaking out.
Meanwhile, the wound is still fresh for Kaepernick, after his former team the San Francisco 49ers had to apologize on Friday for initially leaving the former quarterback out of a photo gallery showing their most celebrated moments against the Green Bay Packers.
Kaepernick was one of the players who kneeled in protest of Trump's presidency during the Star Spangled Banner American national anthem in 2016.
He then opted out of his contract when he was told he wouldn't make the upcoming team and has not been recruited since.
"I feel like it's not only my responsibility but all our responsibilities as people that are in positions of privilege, in positions of power, to continue to fight," he told the audience in Cambridge Massachusetts while accepting an honorary award from Harvard this month for his influence on black history and culture.
Maroon 5 is reportedly set to headline the show on Feb. 4, 2019.