Rihanna reportedly declined an offer to headline the Super Bowl LIII Halftime show in Atlanta, Georgia on February 3, 2019 because she disagrees with the NFL’s handling of the national Anthem kneeling controversy.
The 30-year-old singer said no to the chance to take on of one of the most coveted gigs for music artists because she ‘supports Colin Kaepernick’ according to Us Weekly.
It’s reported both the National Football League and the broadcasting network wanted the star – whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty – to take to the stage as their first pick.
‘The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,’ an insider told the celebrity publication. ‘They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.’
But Rihanna’s feud with the NFL and CBS stems back to 2014 when she lashed out at them on social media for pulling one of her songs from a show.
Run This Town, a track she features on with Jay Z and Kanye West, was cut from Thursday Night Football after a domestic violence video featuring footballer Ray Rice emerged.
Rihanna, whose own domestic violence problem with Chris Brown was played out in public in 2009, criticized the network for ‘penalizing’ her.
‘CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? NO, F**k you! Y’all are sad for penalizing me for this,’ she tweeted at the time.
The likes of Chrissy Teigen and other fans with huge followings chimed in to show their support for her speaking out.
Meanwhile the wound is still fresh for Kaepernick, who admitted he has a crush on Rihanna in 2015, after his former team the San Francisco 49ers had to apologize on Friday for initially leaving the former quarterback out of a photo gallery showing their most celebrated moments against the Green Bay Packers.
Kaepernick was one of the players who kneeled in protest of social injustice during the Star Spangled Banner American national anthem in 2016.
He then opted out of his contract when he was told he wouldn’t make the upcoming team and has not been recruited since.
The sportsman became the controversial face of Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ campaign which says ‘Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything’.
He also received an honorary award from Harvard this month for his influence on black history and culture.
‘I feel like it’s not only my responsibility, but all our responsibilities as people that are in positions of privilege, in positions of power, to continue to fight,’ he told the audience in Cambridge Massachusetts.
Instead it’s rumored Maroon 5 will top the Super Bowl bill with their collaborator Cardi B possibly featuring during the concert midway through the American football spectacular.
The rapper may be a newcomer on the scene but she has risen to popularity quickly and may be the next best music star to help the concert appeal to a wider audience.
‘She is definitely being considered, but it’s obviously way too early to say for sure,’ one source said. Another added Cardi, 26, whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar, would have a bigger role in the show than simply performing her popular tune with Adam Levine’s band.
‘Pepsi, the NFL and Cardi are all interested in her performing more than just her Girls Like You verse,’ the insider added.