The NFL is settling for Maroon 5 as their performer for the 2019 halftime show after Rihanna turned down the offer, citing her support for Colin Kaepernick. It’s almost funny, picturing the NFL employee that had to call Rihanna’s agent, asking if she would be interested in doing the show. Surely the NFL might have seen her rejection coming. She’s only one of America’s most prominent black models and artists, who has spent years building an image based around black strength, integrity, and standing up for equity. Why wouldn’t she be on board?
Turns out, in a surprise twist, Rihanna supports Kaepernick’s mission to draw attention to the myriad of problems that pervade America’s policing system. The story gets funnier when, according to an article on Consequence of Sound, the NFL also asked singer P!nk to perform. She said no too.
That leaves Maroon 5, a band of (mostly) white men lead by vocalist Adam Levine. The pop troupe eagerly accepted the NFL’s offer, and may perform alongside Cardi B. They recently collaborated on the song “Girls Like You.” Cardi B recently told TMZ that she also supports Kaepernick and would boycott the NFL until “they hire Colin Kaepernick back.”
For now, the NFL will be welcoming Maroon 5 to the stage to celebrate the biggest game on TV. CBS reports that over 103 million people tuned in to the game last year, making the Super Bowl stage one of the most widely watched in the world. By refusing to play the show, Rihanna and Pink are sending a big message to their fans.
Maroon 5 is sending a different message. Perhaps they’ll take the stage, do their thing, and make time for a haphazard network-approved message about solidarity or something. Either way, by taking the stage at all, Maroon 5 is likely saying a “Beautiful Goodbye” to their younger, socially conscious supporters.