Rihanna turned down the Super Bowl Halftime show because of Colin Kaepernick

Clara Lionel Foundations Diamond Ball

Last month, the news broke about next year’s Super Bowl Halftime performers: the NFL had apparently signed up Maroon 5, and they would be performing at the Super Bowl in Atlanta. Atlanta, the same city in the midst of a black Renaissance, where dozens of hugh rap, hip-hop, gospel and soul performers live. The NFL is getting a bunch of white dude-bros to perform. So obviously, everyone knew it was a problem, and that’s why there’s also a rumor going around that the NFL is desperate to bring in Cardi B as a “guest” to perform alongside Maroon 5.

Most of us – myself included – thought the Maroon 5 hire was just a random, dumb choice by the NFL. The NFL has proven over and over that they are utterly tone-deaf on everything from racial issues, domestic violence issues to mere integrity of the sport, so many of us assumed the Maroon 5 choice was just the “do no harm” pick. Well, as it turns out, the Maroon 5 hire was more complicated than simple white-bro tunnel-vision. According to Us Weekly, the NFL tried to hire Rihanna. She turned them down… because of Colin Kaepernick.

Rihanna stands with Kap. The “Work” singer declined an offer to headline the Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show because she “supports Colin Kaepernick,” a source tells Us Weekly exclusively.

“The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” the insider reveals. “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”

Kaepernick, who once admitted to having a crush on Rihanna, was the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial inequality. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, 30, has not played since stirring controversy during the 2016 season. He filed a grievance against the league and its owners in November 2017, accusing them of colluding to keep him off the field. After Rihanna, 30, rebuffed the halftime offer, the NFL extended it to Maroon 5. Us Weekly broke the news in September that the Adam Levine-fronted pop-rock group gleefully accepted.

[From Us Weekly]

You know who ends up looking like a total douchenozzle here? Adam Levine and the dudes of Maroon 5. Rihanna is this incredible badass who looked white supremacy in the face and said “nah bitch.” Adam Levine was too much of a sellout and corporate shill to even question if his branding would be hurt by siding with the NFL rather than Colin Kaepernick. Anyway, just another reason to love Rihanna – she knows she would make money off performing at the Super Bowl. She knows she would kill it and it would be her most-watched performance of all time. She still didn’t care, because it would have meant going against something she believes in: the right for Colin Kaepernick – and every single person – to protest and speak his or her mind.

Clara Lionel Foundations Diamond Ball

Adam Levine flashes his middle finger while on a walk with his daughter

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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68 Responses to “Rihanna turned down the Super Bowl Halftime show because of Colin Kaepernick”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    Wow, good for her. I had figured that Maroon 5 was just a boring pick bc it seems the Super bowl tends to go to boring picks every few years (hell Justin Timberlake was pretty boring.) She would have been awesome so I’m disappointed but it’s nice to see someone take a stand like this.

    • I am so proud of Rih. She is free to make informed and ethical decisions based on her work ethic, strong backbone and financial
      freedom (Fenty Beauty is on track to do $1B in annual sales by 2022) I can’t wait to see what she does next – Prime Minister Robyn Rihanna Fenty of Barbados has a nice ring to it!

    • whatWHAT? says:

      “She would have been awesome so I’m disappointed but it’s nice to see someone take a stand like this.”

      this is exactly how I felt. I would have loved to see her perform and you KNOW she would have killed it, but this action makes me love her even more.

      from her SUPER DUPER INCLUSIVE make up line to stuff like this, she’s just awesome.

    • Noodles says:

      I hope this news really spreads and people know why she turned it down. It’s important that she’s doing this and it’s important that Maroon 5 doesn’t just trample all over the top of it.

    • jay says:

      It’s such a sad decision to have to make. I can’t help but think about the fire that Beyonce brought upon the stadium when she performed. Her protest was in her performance. It was stunning and powerful. But there’s no right or wrong way to stand up for yourself and what you believe in. I don’t know what I’m saying. I guess I’m disappointed because Rihanna would KILL IT. But I completely respect her decision. Ugh. Sads.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      I need to go buy a Rihanna album right now, y’all.

  2. Char says:

    Rihanna is a true badass goddess.

  3. wheneight says:

    Glad to hear that at least Maroon 5 wasn’t their first choice.

    • Darkladi says:

      Y’know, I’m not really mad at Maroon 5. I think they are as bland as mayonnaise, but I think this just a high visibility gig for them.

    • Juls says:

      And they will regret it too. Maroon 5 is a studio band. They are pretty terrible performing live. I survived a few songs at one of their concerts before I walked out, with my ears figuratively bleeding.

      • Kristen820 says:

        Levine’s voice, without the benefit of studio production and mixing, sounds like a cat being skinned alive…

        Also, I’m even more in love with Rihanna than ever right now!

      • marmalazed says:

        I love that you said “figuratively bleeding”! Poor “literally” has been so misunderstood! 😆

      • Steff says:

        They will probably lip sync like the RHCP did a few years ago. And lol @ the skinned cat analogy. He has the most nasally voice I’ve heard in a man.

      • tealily says:

        The Super Bowl is always a lip sync fest anyway.

    • Milla says:

      Riri may not be the best singer or dancer, but she’s strong woman with brains for business and i am glad she made decision which supporting something she believes in. Always like her, she just has it, i like her more than some people whose music i prefer.

  4. Alexandria says:

    People in her position, like Taylor, should continue to make these political stands, especially in these times. Bravo. Because it is not politics as usual. More influential white male celebs also should.

  5. diana says:

    I love her.

  6. OCE says:

    So glad Rhianna rejected performing at the Superbowl; and Jay-Z recently did the same (2017). If Maroon 5 was strategic, they would do something like Coldplay did in Superbowl 2016 when they had special surprise performances with Beyonce singing Formation with her dancers and Bruno Mars. I rewatch it on YouTube all the time!

    • minime says:

      to say the truth I even forgot that it was Coldplay doing the Superbowl show and not really Beyonce…Maroon 5 are so bland and boring, who will want to watch that? Riri is fierce!

    • Pandy says:

      If they are smart they will start the show kneeling.

      • tealily says:

        I was thinking the same thing, but they won’t. I’ll bet the Super Bowl half time show is a really difficult place to pull off anything spontaneous or unplanned.

    • KK2 says:

      Yeah, I’m not surprised by this- she was mentored by Jay-Z. And she doesn’t need the money or the exposure. Or, as Jay said “you need me, I don’t need you/Every night we in the endzone, tell the NFL we in stadiums too.”

      I LOVED the Beyonce and Bruno Mars show too (minus the coldplay parts).

  7. adastraperaspera says:

    Glad to hear this. Inspiring.

  8. Nev says:

    Yes Riri!!! Fists up!!!!

  9. ValiantlyVarnished says:

    If only there was solidarity in this from white performers. It would make such a big difference. But mediocre Maroon 5 have no issues performing. Neither did Timberlake last year.

    • Anna says:

      When is there ever solidarity from the white (performers)? This country was founded on blood, decimation and desecration by white people who wanted the money and territory. That’s the foundation of the U.S.A. where white people continue to benefit in every way–whether they admit it or not–from the genocide and chattel slavery of their ancestors. So why would white “artists” claim solidarity? It’s not even on their radar, most of the time.

  10. CharliePenn says:

    Oh my goodness I had a thought – I wish she would have said yes, gotten all the hype up, done the rehearsals etc and then when it came time for the live show she would take a knee!
    OK maybe she’s not up for all that, but I would support it so hard. The entire NFL can just go to hell at this point and I would have loved to see her take a knee and shame them all to hell, and see the deplorable lose their shit.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN AWESOME. sorry for the all caps but I wanted to agree strongly…lol.

  11. Esmom says:

    Cue the deplorables “boycotting” her music in 3, 2, 1…

  12. Ren says:

    on a side note – Rihanna hates performing live. It’s very obvious when you watch her shows – she barely moves, she skips half of the song, she’s bored when she tours (unlike Beyonce who thrives on stage). Rihanna would rather sell cosmetics and be involved in charities (no shade, I actually admire her)

    • Daz says:

      Oh pls let me hear word. Throwing shade and garnished it with a compliment to conceal the insult. Anuofia

  13. BearcatLawyer says:

    Didn’t the NFL already piss her off by cancelling a performance in the wake of the Chris Brown abuse? They have some nerve asking her to headline the Super Bowl after that and the ongoing Kaepernick grievance.

  14. ItReallyIsYou,NotMe says:

    I think it’s massively unfair to call M5 “douchenozzles” for taking a gig that most musical artists consider a pinnacle of their career. Rih took her stand and I think that is amazing, but I dislike this idea that no celebrity can take a gig with any problematic entity…ever…. or risk being labeled a supporter of racism, misogyny, etc. In the end, it’s on the NFL’s fanbase to stop watching if they disagree with its stance on social issues, not celebrities to do the heavy lifting.

    • Veronica S. says:

      I’m on the fence about it, but honestly, they could afford to not take the gig. They’ve been successful for years. A less popular performer or a newcomer would have more of an argument about career sacrifice.

    • Juls says:

      I get what you’re saying. I really do. But a lot of the NFL fan base already expressed their views and stopped watching, but it wasn’t because they are against racism, misogyny, etc. It was because they felt the NFL didn’t shut down the protests fast enough. In their minds, the NFL didn’t cancel MORE athletes careers. This is the reality we now live in. We are faced with a situation where you have NO choice but to take sides. You’re either against fascism and hatred, or you are for it. There is no more waffling in the middle of 2 different ideologies that have similar goals but different ideas of how to get there. The gauntlet has been thrown. What would be great is if Maroon five took the NFL/TV money, and took the stage wearing “I’m with Kap and RiRi” t-shirts and did their thing. It would make a powerful statement and the NFL and TV will not just cut the halftime show, that would be a disaster. There are ways to fight back if you are truly an ally and a believer without being called dirty names or sellouts.

    • Tania says:

      I think it’s massively unfair to say calling them douchenozzles unfair. The super bowl is not pinnacle anything. It’s celebrating racism and misogyny. In normal times, who would care. But these aren’t normal times. Not when you have a president who is openly racist, misogynist and a liar who calls down players and citizens alike, and the nfl is in lock step with his words and deeds.

      So, eff Maroon 5 and their bar band mentality. They gain nothing from this performance. They peaked years ago. They lose fans who would listen to some of their songs but not anymore.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        “They peaked years ago.”

        agree. probably why they took this gig. high profile.

        I mean, Levine is much more known for The Voice these days, isn’t he?

      • ItReallyIsYou,NotMe says:

        I just don’t think that the automatic reaction in every situation should be to cancel celebrities who take gigs at things like the Superbowl as though all the weight is on their shoulders to stand up for justice. Confront your friends who still tune into games and increase ratings, sure. Boycott companies who continue to advertise with the NFL, absolutely. They have much more power over the NFL than M5. Frankly, if M5 refuses they will just go down the list, much as how they landed on M5 after Rih refused.

      • MariaS says:

        Agreed, Tania. People are really showing their privilege when they tell others not to cancel a band that is absolutely fine with performing for an organization that has gone out of its way to maintain white supremacy by punishing Kaepernick and other plays who protest racially-motivated murder/brutality by police, and that openly agrees with the disgusting, lying white supremacist in the Oval Office.

      • Tania says:

        @ItReallyisYou,NotMe your name says it all, really. It really is you, not me. Once again, this isn’t a normal gig at a normal time. This is a time where there is collusion in sport and treachery in the white house, women’s rights are being trampled on, and people of color are still being shot in the street and babies are still in cages. But sure, you defend a band that epitomizes all the privileges of white mediocrity and want us to not cancel them because of ‘one little gig’.

        Nobody I know watches the NFL anymore. At all. The ratings are down for a reason. Same with Papa John’s. There is no “fine line” between those that promote racism in my life. You really are either for racism or against it.

        But thanks for the examples of how we can protest causes that mean a lot to us that don’t offend your delicate sensibilities. Another example of privilege at play.

  15. minx says:

    Thank you RiRi!

  16. Biting Panda says:

    I’m reading the important words, but all I’m thinking about is how hard I’m shipping Rihanna & Colin.

  17. Case says:

    Wow, that is awesome of Rihanna. Badass.

  18. Millenial says:

    I honestly am always surprised Maroon 5 is still around. I loved them in high school during the Songs About Jane years, but they’ve totally changed their sound and “sold out” to be celebrities. But their music isn’t even good! I just don’t get who is listening and buying their records.

  19. Skylark says:

    Brava, RiRi continuing to walk the walk. I really have so much respect for how she uses her celebrity.

  20. Jessica says:

    I am so glad she did this especially in the light of how kanye has gone full white supremacy fanboy.

  21. Meg says:

    well it makes sense-many feel Maroon 5 has sold out since their debut album. and maroon 5 isn’t even at the peak of their popularity currently-it just seems like an odd choice. I just read Pink turned down the offer too. the NFL needs these people more than these people need the NFL. i’m a big foo fighters fan and they keep saying they’ve been asked to perform but it hasn’t panned out yet-I love dave grohl he’d be sooo great-but the climate in the NFL is so bad right now, I want them to stay away. again, they dont’ need the NFL, the NFL needs them

    • Exactly, that’s why I’m not giving a pass to any performer who takes the gig unless it’s an unknown kazoo player from Montana. None of these wealthy, famous people have an excuse.

  22. Doomsday Colt says:

    I heard the Rockettes will be replacing her.

  23. Renee says:

    The Today Show this morning said Pink pulled out of the show as well. Good for both of them.

  24. Danielle says:

    When they first came out, I LOVED Maroon5…obviously they lost a lot of their original spark and they have been phoning it in for years and that’s why I’m not a fan anymore. They are just a bunch of older white dudes playing pop music with a lead singer who desperately wants to be for her cool, sexy, and hip. Its sad and depressing to watch, honestly. And yeah. They suck ass live. I think I’ll just watch Rihanna videos on YouTube instead 👊

  25. TQ says:

    Well done RiRi! Total bad ass! ✊

  26. Caela says:

    @xtrology wow I don’t know where to start. Is this a genuine comment?

    The thing is sports are a really good platform to protest. Look at apartheid in South Africa and how protesting through boycotting sports added to the political pressure to make a change.

    We don’t exist in isolation or boxes – who we are at work is who we are at play. So racism affects people at work and not at work – so why shouldn’t they protest at work?

    I don’t think it is “crazy” to demand that you are treated equally by a police force supposed to protect and serve. I think a lot of white people are getting annoyed because they could pretend racism didn’t exist. Now they are being forced to acknowledge it and acknowledge their complicity. If this annoys them, then good. It should not be a comfortable experience to learn that you are in a position of privilege because others are being treated badly.

    • Tania says:

      @Caela say it louder for the people in the back! This is exactly it. It’s like eating at a fancy restaurant while half the population is looking in the window and you ignore them or ask them to be arrest/moved because it’s upsetting to you. Oh, it upsets you that there are poor people who would like a sliver? Or in this case, like to not be shot or raped? It irritates me so much that people want us to protest away from where they have fun when where they have fun is part of the hurt.

  27. SpillDatT says:

    Riri is a badass. I wish she could run for President of the World or at least the US, so we could all breathe easier.

    Also, I’m in love with the earrings in these pictures.

    As for Moron 5 (yes, I spelled it like that on purpose), I have never understood the appeal of their music nor Adam Levine. He is a mediocre looking white dude who just happens to be in a band. Meh-h. Whatever, I don’t even watch American football, only watched Madonna & Queen Bey for the halftime show, and after all the racist crap the NFL did recently, I wouldn’t even watch it to give them the viewing number.

  28. Helen says:

    ewww maroon 5

  29. Lilly says:

    I love you even harder Bad Gal RiRi and I feel less guilty on the amount of money I spend on Fenty Beauty. But, honestly it’s fabulous.

  30. Doomsday Colt says:

    If my team was playing in the Super Bowl I’d find something else to boycott.

  31. bikki says:

    We stan this queen <3