After much speculation last winter, Rihanna is finally addressing the rumors over her declining an offer to perform at the Super Bowl LIII halftime show.
US Weekly reported in Oct. 2018 that the singer turned down the gig over the NFL's treatment of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. When asked in a recent interview with Vogue if the report was true, Rihanna confirmed it.
"Absolutely,” she says. “I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. 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 hasn't played in the NFL since the 2016 season when he began kneeling during the national anthem as a means of protesting racial inequality and police brutality. Dozens of other NFL players ultimately joined him. In 2017, Kaepernick opted out of his 49ers contract in March and later filed a grievance with Eric Reid against the NFL for collusion. The two sides reached an agreement on a settlement in February 2019.
Rihanna isn't the only singer who passed on a Super Bowl LIII halftime show offer. Cardi B told Sports Illustrated in February that she also declined to perform.
"This is how I feel about the NFL. You've been seeing what's going on in this country. You guys should sympathize, you guys should understand why [Colin Kaepernick] took a kneel," Cardi B said.
Maroon 5 played the Super Bowl LIII halftime show with Travis Scott and Big Boi. However, fans weren't exactly excited over the performance and there were plenty of jokes on Twitter.