Rihanna has always been known to stick to her guns, and this situation is no different. After being offered the spot to perform at the 2019 Superbowl Halftime Show, she turned down the opportunity in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick’s belief that there is nothing being done about widespread institutional racism and police brutality.
“The NFL and Fox really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” a source shared. “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance. She supports Colin Kaepernick.”
Kaepernick told NFL Media in 2016, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
Despite Rihanna’s feelings on the subject, Kaep’s coach Chip Kelly said in 2016 that the decision not to stand during the national anthem is “his right as a citizen” and “it’s not my right to tell him not to do something.” The NFL has taken a stance of requiring players to stand while on the field, but offers the option for players to remain in the locker room if they choose to protest during the National Anthem.
After Rihanna rejected the offer which would’ve garnered millions of viewers, the NFL reportedly moved on and asked Maroon 5 to put on the show instead. They reportedly agreed, though no confirmation has come from either the NFL or the band.