Gladys Knight is over the haters who are commenting on her decision to sing the national anthem at this year’s Super Bowl.
Yesterday, the Inquisitr shared that Knight would serve as the national anthem singer before the big game. Along with a statement from the NFL confirming the news, Knight also shared the news with her fans on social media. In a post paired with a photo of herself, the legendary singer told fans that she was excited to be performing at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.
“Atlanta, I’m coming home! #NFL #SBLIII,” she wrote in the tweet.
But since the news broke, some people have slammed Knight for taking part in what some think is a “controversial” Super Bowl performance — especially after the kneeling and protesting of the anthem has become a hot topic of debate. Colin Kaepernick infamously started the trend a few years back, and while Knight says that she understands the meaning behind the protests, she doesn’t think our nation’s song should be dragged into the middle of it — according to Variety.
“I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice. 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.”
The singer goes on to say that she is singing at the Super Bowl to give the anthem it’s voice back, while also standing up for the “historic” choice of words. Knight says that she has fought the same prejudices and struggles as others throughout her life, and has been at the “forefront” of the battle. Gladys made it clear that she wants to the national anthem to unite people like it should — and not divide people like it has been.
“No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and cannot be made so by anyone speaking it,” she says. “I pray that this national anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us.”
And while Knight will be performing the national anthem, Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi will be taking part in the halftime show. In September, news broke that Maroon 5 would take the stage — but this news wasn’t officially confirmed until this past Sunday. Rapper Travis Scott is still under fire for agreeing to perform in the show, and many people are signing a petition to ask that the performers kneel during their performances.
The 2019 Super Bowl takes place on February 3.