Cardi B Had ‘Mixed Feelings’ About Turning Down Super Bowl Gig, Says She’ll Still Make Money On Game Day

The rapper stands by Colin Kaepernick, but explains why she'll still make money off of the Super Bowl.

Rapper Cardi B performs during the 2019 Adult Video News Awards at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Ethan Miller / Getty Images

The rapper stands by Colin Kaepernick, but explains why she'll still make money off of the Super Bowl.

Cardi B has confirmed she was invited to perform at the Super Bowl LIII halftime show but struggled with the decision to turn the high-paying gig down. Rather than performing, Cardi B opted to forgo a Super Bowl appearance in support of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The Grammy-nominated rapper told the Associated Press that she had “mixed feelings” about saying no to the lucrative Super Bowl offer, especially since her husband, Offset, is a huge football fan, who would have loved to attend the Super Bowl in Atlanta this year.

In the AP interview, Cardi B said she felt she needed to “stand behind” Kaepernick because he “stood up” for minorities with his “take a knee” protest. Kaepernick, who took a knee instead of standing during the national anthem — to raise awareness of police brutality and racial inequality — remains unsigned with the NFL.

“My husband, he loves football,” Cardi B said. “It’s really hard for him. He really wants to go to the Super Bowl, but he can’t go to the Super Bowl, because he’s got to stand for something. You have to sacrifice that. I got to sacrifice a lot of money to perform. But there’s a man who sacrificed his job for us, so we got to stand behind him.”

Cardi B had previously vowed that she wouldn’t perform at the Super Bowl unless Kaepernick gets a job. That being said, the “Bodak Yellow” rapper is set to perform at the Michael Rubin’s Fanatics party at the College Football Hall of Fame and the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest in downtown Atlanta on Saturday. Cardi also appears in a Super Bowl commercial for Pepsi, which you can see below.

While some fans have questioned Cardi’s decision to participate in Super Bowl-related events, the rapper pointed out that she is not directly supporting the NFL. For her, the apperances at other NFL events has to do with getting paid.

“I hear people saying like ‘Oh, y’all are saying all this stuff about the Super Bowl, but you’re doing all these parties,. And it’s like, well, if the NFL could benefit off from us, then I’m going to benefit off y’all. Y’all make the most money off our people. Why am I not going to take advantage of y’all and take money from y’all too? Because of y’all, we are getting these parties. OK, thank you.”

In addition to Cardi B, it has been rumored that singers Rihanna, Pink, and Jay-Z turned down offers to perform at the Super Bowl LIII halftime show. Maroon 5 has agreed to headline the controversial show, with guests Travis Scott and Big Boi. All of the musicians have dealt with backlash regarding their commitment to the Super Bowl after the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick. Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine said his band “expected” to receive backlash for agreeing to the halftime show performance.

A previous report by Variety teased that Travis Scott consulted with Colin Kaepernick before agreeing to his Super Bowl performance. A source close to Scott revealed that the two talked on the phone to discuss the issue, and while they 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 Instagram, saying it was wrong for Scott’s team to “lie to reporters to insinuate Colin was okay with anyone working against him.”

Music legend Gladys Knight — who will perform the national anthem at Super Bowl LIII — also expressed regret that the song been dragged into the Kaepernick controversy. She passionately explained her right to perform the song, despite a call for performers to blacklist the Super Bowl in support of the NFL free agent. In a statement to Variety, Knight said he understands that Kaepernick is protesting police violence and injustice, but said it is unfortunate that the national anthem has become part of the debate, as the “distinctive senses” of the national anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone. Gladys Knight vowed that she plans to give the national anthem “back its voice” with her performance at the 2019 Super Bowl.

Super Bowl LIII kicks off at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday, February 3 starting at 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS.