While the NFL has yet to confirm that Maroon 5 will be playing the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show, a new report states that both Rihanna and Pink declined to headline — and the Barbadian pop star did so for political reasons.
“Rihanna was the front-runner for next year’s super bowl halftime show,” a source told Entertainment Tonight. “CBS and the NFL reached out to Rihanna first, who after thinking about the offer, decided to pass due to the NFL and the situation regarding players kneeling.” In case it wasn’t clear, the source said the “Love on the Brain” singer “stands with the players and Colin Kaepernick.”
And while the gig would have helped further line her bank account, “She stuck to what’s right in her eyes,” the source added.
This corroborates an earlier report from Us Weekly, which also said Rihanna declined because of Kaepernick. “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy,” said a source. “She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
The internet is abuzz over Rihanna’s decision — both applauding her and criticizing her.
Rihanna refuses to perform at the Super Bowl in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
This is what solidarity looks like.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) October 18, 2018
the NFL asked rihanna to perform at the next superbowl but she declined—in support of colin kaepernick. a true queenhttps://t.co/uErPJ4pg8c
— shereen (@shereeny) October 19, 2018
Rihanna received an offer to perform at the Super Bowl just recently. She has refused to perform because she is in support of Colin Kaepernick and against the NFL’s stance on Players taking the knee. Thank you @rihanna.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) October 19, 2018
nfl: wanna do the halftime show?
rihanna: colin kaepernick
— m i t h (@ManInTheHoody) October 18, 2018
Rihanna reportedly turned down Super Bowl LIII halftime show over the Colin Kaepernick situation.
This is how “the mob” responds, not by use of violence.
Thank you @rihanna
— Angela Belcamino (@AngelaBelcamino) October 18, 2018
Good for Rihanna. I support Colin Kaepernick too
— Sharon Lynn Caldwell (@SharonLynnCald2) October 19, 2018
Respect to @rihanna @fentybeauty for placing personal integrity first by declining the Superbowl half time show in support of Colin Kaepernick . “We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.” (Dr Martin Luther King).
— Ron a Munro (@AlbaClaymores) October 19, 2018
if I were a TV executive, I’d counter program an alternate half-time show to go live at the exact same time, with every act who’d perform in support of Kaepernick, starting with Rihanna https://t.co/I3RILNECpK
— Adam Sternbergh (@sternbergh) October 18, 2018
— Marcy Barbeau (@MarcyBarbeau) October 19, 2018
And people — including Amy Schumer — want Adam Levine’s band to follow in Ri’s footsteps.
@maroon5 please stand with the NFL players don’t play the halftime show. I have seen you in concert & listened to ur interviews on Stern. I respect you guys but maybe things could change if u take a stand too like @rihanna
— ashamed Trump voter (@als197088) October 19, 2018
— She’s Crafty (@AMPd_Crochet) October 19, 2018
Several people called out Justin Timberlake, saying he should have done the same thing as Rihanna earlier this year, when he was the headliner.
S/O to @rihanna for standing up for Colin Kaepernick – and for declining the NFL's offer to headline next year's Super Bowl Halftime Show! She put principle before career.
Justin Timberlake could learn A LOT from her!
— Elgin Charles (@ElginCharles) October 19, 2018
But not everyone was supportive — with “boycott” being thrown around a bit. One Trump supporter suggested that the president get to headline instead — heaven help us.
@rihanna so much for being a fan of yours NEVER AGAIN and will boycott any movie your in. We Stand for the Flag and for America
— hazeleyes🇺🇸 (@nancijeanw) October 19, 2018
— Eric King (@FiliumLupi) October 19, 2018
Add her to list of those who shouldn’t be rewarded w/ Americans’ hard earned money! #BoycottRihanna 🇺🇸
— PJM (@PJMcIntyre1) October 19, 2018
— Barry H. (@ValenTheOne69) October 19, 2018
But he’d be playin if someone wanted him.. Guess I’ll put her on the boycott list too. Rihanna Declined Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show Offer in Support of Colin Kaepernick https://t.co/6x5wY0JuNr
— Julie (@julieasmyle) October 19, 2018
I’m into my 3rd highly successful season of a boycott of the @NFL so screw you too Rihanna.
— Eric (@chromeit3) October 19, 2018
And there was some serious vitriol.
Rihanna who? Never heard of her. Oh wait, is she that female that got the shit beat out of her by another black man? Cool, boycott. She won’t be missed. https://t.co/kunCJRZ0yf
— 🇺🇸 Constantina 🇺🇸 (@redwop25) October 19, 2018
@rihanna is so limited intellectually that she will not perform at Super Bowl in support of Kaepernick. Fine with me. We get more of Maroon 5. The bitch is not even American. Have a seat ghetto girl. #SuperBowl #stupidBitch
— Tom Taylor (@TGTaylor3rd) October 19, 2018
As for why Pink declined, it reportedly wasn’t because of Kaepernick. The songstress, who sang the national anthem at February’s Super Bowl, thought negotiations took so long, she moved on, according to ET.
Kaepernick, who played for the San Francisco 49ers, was effectively blackballed by the NFL for protesting — along with other players — during the national anthem. He decided to “take a knee” to respectively protest police brutality in light of the number of unarmed black people being killed — and shed a light on the oppression that black people still face. President Trump is among those who have publicly criticized him.
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