Travis Scott had a game-changing condition before agreeing to perform at the Super Bowl LIII halftime show. The rapper boyfriend of Kyle Jenner signed on to the National Football League’s high-profile halftime show under the condition that a donation is made to the non-profit organization Dream Corps, according to Variety. Scott announced that in partnership with the NFL, he would make a $500,000 donation to the non-profit social justice network.
“I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in,” the rapper said in a statement.
“I know being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire. So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation. I am proud to support Dream Corps and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change.”
Dream Corps was founded in 2014 by CNN commentator Van Jones, with a mission to “close prison doors and open doors of opportunity for the next generation.” The organization supports economic, environmental and criminal justice innovators.
But despite his good intentions, Travis Scott’s hefty donation deal comes amid criticism over his appearance at the Super Bowl LIII halftime show with Big Boi and headlining act Maroon 5.
All of the NFL’s scheduled musicians have dealt with backlash regarding their commitment to the Super Bowl stage after the league’s treatment of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose controversial “take a knee” stance during the national anthem has divided football fans.
In 2016, Kaepernick made headlines for kneeling as the national anthem was performed at NFL games. The free agent, who began taking a knee as a form of political protest, later filed a grievance against the NFL after he remained unsigned at the start of the 2017 season. Musicians and other celebrities have been pressured to boycott the Super Bowl as a result of the Kaepernick controversy.
A previous report by Variety teased that Travis Scott consulted with Colin Kaepernick before the rapper confirmed his Super Bowl performance. A source close to Scott revealed that the two men had at least one phone call to discuss the hot button topic, and while did not necessarily agree on the situation, they emerged from the conversation with “mutual respect and understanding” of each others’ side.
But Kaepernick’s longtime girlfriend, Nessa Diab, fired back on Twitter with a claim that there is “NO mutual respect and there is NO understanding for anyone working against @Kaepernick7 PERIOD. #stoplying.” The TV personality later posted to Instagram, “If someone wants to work with the opposition then that’s on them, BUT DO NOT have your team lie to reporters to insinuate Colin was okay with anyone working against him. PERIOD.”
Maroon 5 has followed in Travis Scott’s footsteps with a large charitable donation amid the Super Bowl backlash. The band, joined by the NFL and Interscope Records, will make a $500,000 contribution to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America ahead of their Super Bowl headlining performance, People reports.
Super Bowl LIII kicks off Sunday, Feb. 3 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, starting at 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS.