Multiple artists were asked to perform during the coveted Super Bowl halftime show. There were quite a few who decided to turn down the gig. Their reason? They supposed Collin Kaepernick kneeling to "bring awareness" to supposed instances of police brutality and racial inequality. His actions started a political firestorm involving the National Football League. Other players began following suit and conservative football lovers who disagreed with the supposed policy brutality boycotted tuning into games.
Ultimately, Maroon 5, Big Boi of Outkast and rapper Travis Scott agreed to perform during the show. In order for Scott to agree to perform, the NFL had to agree to make a $500,000 donation to The Dream Corps, a progressive organization founded by CNN's Van Jones.
Here's who passed on this year's game:
“My husband [Rapper Offset], he loves football. His kids play football. It’s really hard for him. ... He really wants to go to the Super Bowl, but he can’t go to the Super Bowl, because he’s got to stand for something,” the rapper told the Associated Press. “You have to sacrifice that. I got to sacrifice a lot of money to perform. But there’s a man who sacrificed his job for us, so we got to stand behind him.”
She said last year she refused to perform during the big game until Kaepernick was given his job back. Although she's not performing during the halftime show, she is hosting a Super Bowl party and will appear in a commercial.
“I hear people saying like ‘Oh, y’all are saying all this stuff about the Super Bowl, but you’re doing all these parties,’” she explained. “And it’s like, well, if the NFL could benefit off from us, then I’m going to benefit off y’all. Y’all make the most money off our people. Why am I not going to take advantage of y’all and take money from y’all too? Because of y’all, we are getting these parties. OK, thank you.”
Singer Rihanna shared similar sentiments. Back in October, she declined to perform because she stood with Kaepernick, a source told Us Weekly.
The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” the source explained. “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
"The offer and exposure would have been great for Rihanna as she’s planning a new album and tour but she stuck to what’s right in her eyes," the source told Entertainment Tonight.
Another singer who decided not to participate was Pink. According to Entertainment Tonight, Pink decided to move on because the the negotiations were taking too long.