Super Bowl LIV came and went, but not without leaving behind its fair share of iconic moments: The Kansas City Chiefs taking home the coveted Lombardi Trophy for the first time in 50 years, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez sharing the stage and subsequently giving one of the best half-time performances in years (yes, I’m biased), and the, um, Mr. Peanut commercial.
But another moment that’s sparking conversation is when Beyoncé and Jay-Z were apparently filmed (per TMZ) sitting down during Demi Lovato’s rendition of the national anthem, which many are taking as a tribute to Colin Kaepernick and his activism.
Kaepernick, of course, used to play for the 49ers before he found himself the subject of national scrutiny when he kneeled during the national anthem in 2016 to honor the black lives lost to police brutality. Since then, a number of athletes and performers have followed his lead, creating a widespread movement and conversation that has continued over the past few years. Recently, celebrities from Rihanna to Cardi B have turned down halftime show performance opportunities to support the player.
In the past, Jay-Z has been outspoken in his support of Kaepernick, though he acknowledged in a new interview with The New York Times that they “disagree on the tactic but are marching for the same cause.” The performer was criticized in 2019 when his company, Roc Nation, announced it was partnering with the NFL for entertainment during the Super Bowl. When concerns arose over his decision to work with an organization that has, in Jay Z’s own words, “done [Kaepernick] wrong,” the rapper said he is still committed to making strides toward equality — from the inside.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s decision to sit down during the national anthem feels intentional and important. They are undoubtedly two of America’s most influential celebrities, and to carry on Kaepernick’s legacy in front of thousands, if not millions, of Americans on one of the most anticipated nights in American culture was a powerful move indeed.
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue