Pop singer Rihanna was supposedly offered the chance to perform at the NFL’s Super Bowl LIII halftime show in Atlanta next year, but turned down the invitation due to the league’s treatment of former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
According to reporting from Us Weekly, Rihanna was supportive of the protests Kaepernick engaged in on the field during the national anthem. The quarterback had kneeled during the anthem to protest racial disparities in the United States, particularly those involving people of color being treated unfairly by law enforcement.
An unnamed source purports that Rihanna sided with Kaepernick over the NFL, which had tried to quash similar protests by other players earlier this summer.
“The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” the source elaborated. “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
The NFL had tried to impose new rules that would have required players to decide either to stand for the anthem while on the field or stay in the locker room if they wanted to protest during “The Star Spangled Banner.” After the rules were proposed, the NFL Players Association threatened to file a grievance, which prompted the NFL to back down from enforcing the rules, according to reporting from SportsBreak.
Kaepernick himself is still without a team, and has filed his own grievance with the league alleging a collusion effort by NFL owners, suggesting they are collaborating with one another to keep him from being signed to a deal. Despite not having a team, Kaepernick still trains daily, even on weekends, getting up at 5 a.m. every day to do so, as was previously reported by the Inquisitr.
After Rihanna declined the offer, the invitation was extended to rock group Maroon 5, who accepted and plans to play the halftime show at this year’s Super Bowl. Rumors abound that the NFL is also in talks to get Cardi B to join the group onstage for the event. The group and the rapper collaborated on a song released this year called “Girls Like You,” although a separate source with knowledge of those talks said it wouldn’t be the only song she would be performing if she were to join Maroon 5 at the game.
“Pepsi (which sponsors the halftime show), the NFL and Cardi are all interested in her performing more than just her ‘Girls Like You’ verse,” the source said.