Colin Kaepernick’s powerful NFL protest and even more influential ad for Nike seems to have affected more than just the general population.
According to Us Weekly magazine, Rihanna’s name was on the shortlist to perform during the Super Bowl LIII halftime show, but she turned down the opportunity in support of Kaepernick, who was seemingly blacklisted from the league due to his activism.
Kaepernick, who was the former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, has been an unsigned free agent since the end of the 2016 season. His rift with the NFL began after led a kneeling protest during the national anthem to bring attention to police brutality and racial inequality.
Now, the league’s tension with Kaepernick has affected their ability to book the biggest performing artists.
“The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” a source told Us Weekly. “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
After Rihanna said no, the NFL booked Maroon 5 to be its halftime show performer at the Super Bowl in Atlanta in February.
What’s more, this is not the first time the ANTI singer has been at odds with CBS and the NFL. Years ago, Rihanna slammed CBS Sports for pulling a segment featuring her singing “Run This Town” before Thursday Night Football. The network pulled the song before the first Baltimore Ravens game since running back Ray Rice was indefinitely suspended after he was seen a video knocking out his wife.
The network decided that using the song by Rihanna, who is a victim of domestic violence, and the comedy bit that followed was distasteful. Additionally, the league was battling bad PR for using the singer's music even though she is a survivor of domestic violence, an issue plaguing the NFL. In order to distance themselves from the controversy, CBS Sports pulled the segment.
However, a week later, CBS and NFL Network tried to bring back the song in a different Thursday game and Rihanna wasn’t having it.
“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.
(Photos from left: Paul Marotta/Getty Images, Don Arnold/WireImage/Getty Images)