There’s something strange going on with February’s Super Bowl halftime show.
It’s been reported throughout the fall by different media outlets that Maroon 5 will be performing at the halftime extravaganza at next February’s Super Bowl LIII, although the league has yet to make any official announcement. But now, a new report says Maroon 5 hasn’t been able to find other performers to join them as part of the show.
According to US Weekly, the NFL is “is having a lot of trouble finding guests” for Maroon 5’s performance. The reason for this? “No one wants to associate themselves with the NFL” in light of the league’s response to the Colin Kaepernick protests, the magazine’s source said.
Cardi B had been considered for the show, but now is not expected to be a part of it, the magazine said. Per the Inquisitr, a petition was launched last month to encourage Maroon 5 to back out of the show themselves for Kaepernick-related reasons.
Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, has not played in the NFL the last two seasons after he became the first in a wave of NFL players who protested police brutality and other racial injustice by taking a knee during the national anthem. The quarterback has remained on the sidelines this fall despite a wave of injuries to quarterbacks, as teams have signed and given workouts to less accomplished quarterbacks this season.
Exclusive: Maroon 5 is struggling to find guests to join them on stage at the Super Bowl halftime show https://t.co/dOfbWP5Bnd— Us Weekly (@usweekly) December 12, 2018
Throughout last season, some fans claimed they were staying away from the NFL due to anger at the protesting players, while others boycotted the league from the other side because Kaepernick was being kept out. President Trump even got involved, bashing the players as “sons of bi**hes” in a Twitter rant in September of 2017 and occasionally afterward. It doesn’t appear that Justin Timberlake, who performed at last season’s Super Bowl halftime show, was ever under any pressure to drop out of the gig, although his performance itself was received somewhat tepidly.
However, it is worth noting that the anthem issue has somewhat receded this season, compared with 2017, and Trump has stayed out of the fray on that particular front. TV ratings, which dropped last year, have since rebounded, per ESPN. It’s also unclear why Maroon 5, a major, established act with a long list of hits, would necessarily need to share the halftime show with a second headliner.
Super Bowl LIII will be played at Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium on February 3, 2019. And even though Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine has long been associated with The Voice on NBC, the game is airing on CBS.