Jay-Z says his Super Bowl sit-down was a misunderstanding. The music mogul gave said he and his wife Beyonce were not sending a "message" when they remained seated during the National Anthem at Super Bowl LIV.
On Sunday, TMZ posted a now-viral video of Jay-Z and Beyonce sitting during Demi Lovato's performance of 'The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, with their young daughter Blue Ivy Carter by their side.
During a Q& A session at Columbia University this week, a moderator asked Jay-Z if he sat down during Lovato's National Anthem to make some sort of political statement.
"It actually wasn't — sorry," Jay-Z said, according to Page Six.
The rapper went on to say he would "tell" people if that was what he had meant.
Instead, Jay-Z, who was a co-producer for the Super Bowl show and is a bigtime NFL partner, explained that he and his wife were thrust into "artist" mode as Lovato began singing the nation's song.
"What happened was, we got there, we were sitting, and now the show's about to start. My wife was with me and so she says to me, 'I know this feeling right here.' Like, she's super-nervous because she's performed at Super Bowls before. I haven't," Jay-Z said. "So we get there and we immediately jump into artist mode … now I'm really just looking at the show. Did the mic start? Was it too low to start?"The rapper explained that he wanted to be sure that the audience could really "feel" the music, so he was intently listening and observing every detail. Jay-Z said the whole time he and Beyonce were sitting there, they were talking about the performance and how beautiful Demi looked and how proud they were of her. The Tidal co-owner revealed he was shocked when his phone started ringing and he was told people were outraged that he was sitting during Lovato's performance of the National Anthem.
Jay-Z added that he would not attempt to make a statement with his 8-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, sitting with him, explaining that he would "never" put his little girl in that position.
He also noted that he didn't "have" to make a silent protest at the Super Bowl. He pointed to the halftime show headliners, Colombian singer Shakira and Puerto Rican superstar Jennifer Lopez, whom he said made "the loudest statement" with their historic stage performance.
In the days since Jay-Z's unintentional Super Bowl sitdown, the rap mogul and his superstar wife have been slammed by critics, including conservative political commentator Tomi Lahren and talk show host Wendy Williams.