The uproar for this year’s Super Bowl LIII musical performance picks is pressing the heat on Hollywood’s music circle as pro-NFL and anti-NFL controversies rise.
First, there was the Travis Scott scandal, where the Houston rapper and his team ended up being exposed for reportedly lying about having the Halftime show approval from ex-NFL player and social activist icon, Colin Kaepernick. While half of Trav’s fans stood in support of the gig, the other half of La Flame fans were livid after learning of his acceptance to lend his rap talents to the sports organization, which blackballed Kaepernick for his silent kneeling protests during the national anthem.
Soul songstress Gladys Knight found herself beneath the same heat as La Flame after news surfaced that she’s be gracing the Super Bowl football field with the singing of the national anthem. Similarly, several fans expressed their contempt with her decision to aid the NFL’s entertainment efforts in the midst of protests against it for their treatment of Kaepernick. The “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” musician also heard their complaints, and after being dragged through the Twitterverse for the decision, she has a few words for every one of her critics.
“I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice,” Variety reports of her responsive statement. “It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”
Knight expressed her belief in giving “the Anthem back its voice” and standing for its lyrics that she thinks “unites us when we hear it and [frees] it fom the same prejudices and struggles [she has] fought long and hard for all her life.” As a longtime civil rights activist, Knight said she’s well-versed in the act of demonstration for social justice and has remained at “the forefront of this battle longer than most of those voicing their opinions to win the right to sing our country’s Anthem on a stage as large as the Super Bowl LII.”
Despite the growing backlash from her decision, she plans to stand firm in it. “No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message,” she wrote. Her prayer is that the anthem will unite everyone “in a way never before witnessed” at the end of it all.
Will you be tuning in to hear Ms. Knight's Super Bowl national anthem debut?
(Photo: Johnny Louis/FilmMagic)