Rihanna confirmed in a recent interview that she declined an opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl earlier this year, to show solidarity with former NFL quarterback and anthem protester Colin Kaepernick.
Speaking to Vogue magazine, the singer and actress said that headlining the halftime show would have made her a “sellout,” and would have been of no benefit to her “people.”
“I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout,” the singer said in an interview published on Wednesday.
“I couldn’t be an enabler,” she explained. “There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”
Kaepernick began his anthem protest against perceived police brutality and racial injustice, in the preseason of 2016. However, after that season, the former 49er walked away from his contract with San Francisco. Kaepernick was not re-signed by another club and remains unemployed by the league. In October of 2017, Kaepernick filed a collusion grievance against the NFL. Alleging that the league’s owners conspired to keep him off a roster due to his anthem protests.
After settling the collusion case with the NFL, Kaepernick has repeatedly indicated interest in returning to the league, but has not been brought in for a workout by any club.
Rapper Jay-Z sparked controversy earlier this year, when he agreed to take a leading role in helping to manage the league’s social justice and entertainment offerings. That partnership with the NFL, brought forth claims of hypocrisy and greed from may Kaepernick supporters who saw the rap mogul’s business arrangements with the NFL, as a betrayal of Kaepernick and his cause.
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