In case you missed it, super star duo Beyonce and Jay-Z took a stand at the Super Bowl by, um, sitting, during the National Anthem.
Jay-Z, for his part, has been vocal about turning down the opportunity to perform at a Super Bowl Half Time Show several years ago. It was widely suspected that he was saying no to the gig because of his desire to support Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who made headlines by “taking a knee” during the national anthem instead of standing with other players, to protest racial and social injustice.
However it actually just came out that the real reason JAY-Z turned down the gig was because the NFL wanted him to promise to bring out Kanye West and Rihanna as guest stars during his rendition of the song “Run This Town,” which features the two as guest vocalists on the track; and he didn’t want his deal with the league contingent on agreeing to that.
JAY-Z told The New York Times: “Of course I would have” [brought out Kanye and Rihanna.] “But I said, ‘No, you get me.’ That is not how you go about it, telling someone that they’re going to do the halftime show contingent on who they bring. I said forget it. It was a principle thing.”
The league has been under fire by many stars in the last few years due to the Kaepernick controversy. Rihanna declined to perform for the Super Bowl Half Time Show in support of Kaepernick, confirming to Vogue for her October 2019 cover feature that: “I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”
Maroon 5 ended up performing at the 2018 Half Time Show after Rihanna declined, and came under criticism from many celebrities, including comedian Amy Schumer, who attempted to pressure them to reconsider their decision.
Well, despite his issues with the NFL, JAY-Z and his wife and daughter Blue Ivy did end up attending the Super Bowl 54 show on Sunday, February 2nd, but they showed their values (and surprised many, including many of their fans), by refusing to stand during the singing of the National Anthem.
For her part, talk show host personality Wendy Williams didn’t support their decision.Speaking during her opening monologue on her show the day after the Super Bowl, Williams, who is known as being huge fans of the mega-famous couple said: “Beyonce…you understand that all eyes were on you, you should’ve stood up.” Adding: “If you don’t like our country, then…move on.” Notably, Williams was actually dressed in one of Beyonce’s new Adidas x IVY PARK dresses, which just goes to show that you can love and support your friends and still sometimes disagree with their choices.