Rihanna Turned Down the Super Bowl in Solidarity With Colin Kaepernick & Protesting Black Players
According to Us Weekly, the singer, actress, beauty mogul, ambassador, and self-made millionaire, Her Excellency Robyn Rihanna Fenty, was reportedly approached to headline the Super Bowl LIII halftime show. However, she declined the offer out of support for Colin Kaepernick, his kneeling protest of police brutality, and the NFL’s policy in response.
An insider revealed to the publication that “The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta. They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
Now, Rihanna doesn’t need the Super Bowl, and honestly, while she’s a hitmaker, she also has zero f’s to give and doesn’t consider herself to be someone who needs anything or anyone. Music hasn’t even been her priority, as she has been working as an actress and building her beauty brand, Fenty Beauty, which is lauded for its inclusivity in the beauty world and is already on track to outsell other beauty lines, making Rihanna’s net worth $260 million.
That sort of financial freedom allows you to not just create opportunity, but also turn down ones that are antithetical to your own views. While Rihanna is not super political, she’s very black and unbothered, and has always been a philanthropist. In 2006, she created the Believe Foundation to help terminally ill children, has been supportive of charities helping to combat HIV/AIDs and cancer, and founded the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) in 2012, to help impoverished communities across the globe.
I say all of this not simply to highlight Rihanna’s charity work, but to make it known that just because Rihanna doesn’t seem political, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a history of being a part of progressive causes.
According to Jezebel, a source told Entertainment Tonight, “Rihanna was the front-runner for next year’s Super Bowl halftime show. CBS and the NFL reached out to Rihanna first, who after thinking about the offer decided to pass due to the NFL and the situation regarding players kneeling.”
The source also said, “The offer and exposure would have been great for Rihanna as she’s planning a new album and tour but she stuck to what’s right in her eyes.”
Another artist to reportedly turn down performing at this year’s show was P!nk, but as we know, despite being rejected by the Bad Gal herself, Maroon 5 have “gleefully” accepted the offer, and Cardi B is still in talks for a guest spot, which will provide some color to the show.
What this is, for many, is a reminder that Rihanna and other black artists that we all enjoy are black. They are affected by police brutality and racism, and those who have solidified their status as icons, like Rihanna and Beyoncé, are going to use that platform to be open about their views and their blackness.
It was just revealed earlier this week that a poll found Beyoncé is one of the most “politically divisive” celebrities. I mean, even Meghan McCain loves Lemonade, so clearly, she’s got fans on both sides, and what’s most important is that these choices do not hurt their brand. They only solidify their status among the people who were already very aware that these are black artists involved with supporting black lives.
So, as Jay Z put it: “I said no to the Super Bowl/ You need me, I don’t need you”
(via Complex, image: Mark Ganzon/Getty Images for Fenty Beauty)
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