An anonymous source told Us Weekly yesterday (October 18) that Rihanna refused an offer to play the Super Bowl LIII halftime show because “she supports Colin Kaepernick” and his ongoing protest against racist police violence.
“The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” the source added. “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.” That stance includes penalizing players who protest while erasing the origins of the protests.
Entertainment Tonight cited its own anonymous source, who said that Kaepernick did not come up when the league approached Rihanna and Pink to perform. That source said the two singers dropped out when negotiations took too long. Both publications reported that the league then asked Maroon 5 to perform. The band reportedly accepted the offer, prompting criticism of the league for not booking someone from Atlanta’s rich pool of Black musical talent.