Your Guide to the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime Show Controversy | Time

It ’ south about prison term for Super Bowl Sunday, February 3, when Maroon 5 will headline the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show alongside Travis Scott and Big Boi in Atlanta, Georgia when the New England Patriots face the Los Angeles Rams. The flashy gig has long been considered the performance of a life for a melodious artist, but this class, the politics surrounding Super Bowl LIII halftime besides have the electric potential foreground. here ’ s what you should know about the controversy.

Colin Kaepernick, the NFL and the National Anthem

In 2016, then-quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick chose not to stand during the national hymn during a game as a form of passive protest against systemic racism and patrol ferociousness towards people of color in the United States. “ I am not going to stand up to show pride in a pin for a state that oppresses black people and people of color, ” Kaepernick told NFL Media of his decision to remain seat during the hymn. “ To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my contribution to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting aside with murder. ”

While Kaepernick gained corroborate and solidarity from mate athletes, celebrities, and fans. But though he chose to kneel during the National Anthem to emphasize that his deference for the military and veterans, he received enough of backlash from detractors who criticized his protest as aweless to the flag and country, including President Donald Trump, who has gratingly criticized both Kaepernick and the NFL.
The protest intensified after the NFL announced in 2018 that they would be instituting a new policy that requires all players to stand during the national anthem or choose to stay in the locker room during the hymn, which was by and by put on hold after the NFL Players Union filed a grievance against it. After leaving the 49ers in 2017 for release means, Kaepernick has not been signed to another NFL team, which many believe is due to his activism. This includes founding the “ Know Your Rights Camp ” and making a collective million dollar contribution to organizations aiding oppress communities, work that has landed him among other athlete activists like Muhammad Ali and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. He ’ mho since filed a grievance against the NFL, alleging that teams have colluded in not signing him. Kaepernick ’ s civil rights activism became the center of another controversy in September of 2018 when he became the newest expression of Nike ’ s “ Just Do It ” campaign, despite the fact that the sportswear elephantine is a major sponsor of the NFL.

The Location: Atlanta, Georgia

The city that gave birth to rap royalty like Ludacris, T.I., Outkast and the Dungeon Family, is wide considered to be the capital of current-day hip hop, thanks to artists like the Migos and Future — making it the perfect placement for staging a spectacularly extraordinary halftime show at a clock when blame has overtaken rock as the most popular genre in the country. so when it was announced that Atlanta, Georgia would host Super Bowl LIII, music fans hoped that the halftime usher would do the city department of justice by tapping into its rich history as a cultural hub for music and entertainment, particularly in respects to its contributions to hip hop. The NFL, however, opted to ledger Maroon 5, a pop group from Los Angeles .

As might be expected, booking a primarily white music group in one of the most outstanding bootleg majority cities in the area, historically known for its contributions to black art and culture, amid the existing latent hostility of the kneel protests and the NFL ’ s new policy of standing during the hymn led to backlash on-line. This was only compounded by reports that many artists from Jay-Z to Rihanna wouldn ’ metric ton enter for diverse reasons including the decision to say no out of solidarity with Colin Kaepernick ’ s activism.

The Headliner: Maroon 5

While rumors floated angstrom early as November that toss off rock radio darlings Maroon 5 would be this year ’ second headliners, the group wasn ’ t formally announced as the appearance ’ mho chief performers until January 13 — less than a month before the Super Bowl and the latest in recent history that a musical act has been announced for the Super Bowl halftime show. When reports began surfacing that Maroon 5 would be performing at the halftime show, a change.org request began circulating, asking for the group to drop out of the display in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, citing that “ until the league changes their policy and hold players ’ constitutional right to protest, no artists should agree to work with the NFL. ” It ’ s a opinion that was summed up presciently in a bar from Jay Z on The Carters ’ 2018 song, “ Apesh-t, ” where he raps “ I said no to the Super Bowl, you need me, I don ’ t need you/Every night we in the endzone, tell the NFL we in stadiums excessively, ” adding fuel to reports that Jay turned down an offer to perform at the 2018 Super Bowl, as a picture of solidarity with Kaepernick. In the music television for the song, images of black men kneeling are shown while he raps about the Super Bowl.
This affirmation was besides echoed by comedian Amy Schumer, who suggested that Maroon 5 decline the 2019 halftime show in support of Kaepernick ’ randomness protest ; Schumer herself besides refused to do a Super Bowl ad in solidarity with Kaepernick.
While Maroon 5 hasn ’ metric ton addressed the the controversy surrounding the halftime showas a group, the band ’ second keyboardist and their sole black member, PJ Morton shared in a late consultation with the Associated Press that he thinks that the set “ can perform for the NFL and the players can play for the NFL and we can support Kaep at the lapp time. ”

The Tuesday before Super Bowl Sunday, the NFL cancelled its traditional halftime indicate weight-lift conference for the artist, citing that : maroon 5 has been working hard on a Pepsi Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show that will meet and exceed the standards of this consequence, ” the NFL said in a statement. “ As it is about music, the artists will let their indicate do the talking as they prepare to take the stage this Sunday. ”
On Thursday, frontman Adam Levine addressed the controversy during an interview with Entertainment Tonight : “ I ’ m not in the right profession if I can ’ t handle a small moment of controversy. It ’ s what it is. We expected it. We ’ d like to move on from it and speak through the music. ” Levine besides said that this year ’ s express will have “ the biggest rap bearing that ’ s ever been on the show ” due to the engagement of Travis Scott. The band, the NFL and Interscope Records will be making a joint $ 500,000 contribution to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

The Supporting Acts: Travis Scott and Big Boi

While many speculated that Cardi B would join Maroon 5 for the halftime since the artists collaborated on Maroon 5 ’ mho 2017 sung, “ Girls Like You, ” a rep for the Bronx knocker strongly denied the claims, telling Page Six that she was “ not particularly concerned in participating because of how she feels about Colin Kaepernick and the unharmed motion ; ” rather, Cardi will be performing alongside her “ Finesse ” confederate, two-time halftime express veteran and vocal recommend for hip hop at Super Bowl LIII, Bruno Mars, at the Super Bowl Music Fest. But then on Super Bowl 53 weekend, Cardi B told the Associated Press that she turned down the opportunity to “ stand behind ” Kaepernick. “ My conserve, he loves football. His kids play football. It ’ s truly hard for him…He in truth wants to go to the Super Bowl, but he can ’ thymine go to the Super Bowl, because he ’ mho got to stand for something, ” Cardi B told the Associated Press. “ You have to sacrifice that, ” she continued. “ 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. ”

rather, rapper Travis Scott and Outkast ’ s Big Boi will be performing at Super Bowl LIII with Maroon 5, decisions that have been slammed by both their peers and fans. Scott, specially, has received public review for his decision to be a separate of the 2019 appearance, being called out directly via Twitter by knocker Meek Mill and public figures like Rev. Al Sharpton and Michael B. Jordan expressing their disapproval of his character in the halftime show.
In a statement to Billboard, Scott said he refused to participate in the halftime show unless the NFL would make a joint contribution with him to an administration fighting for sociable department of justice ; Scott made a $ 500,000 contribution alongside the NFL to Dream Corps and is planning to work with the NFL on extra projects. “ I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in, ” Scott said. “ I know being an artist that it ’ second in my power to inspire. So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime operation, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this authoritative contribution. I am proud to support Dream Corps and the employment they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change. ” however, Scott ’ second involvement is still steeped in controversy ; after Variety reported that Scott and Kaepernick allegedly spoke about Scott ’ s decisiveness to perform in the halftime read, “ with reciprocal respect and reason, ” the reports were disputed by both Kaepernick ’ mho partner, Hot 97 radio receiver personality Nessa Diab and Hot 97 host Ebro Darden, both of whom tweeted that the reports were false. Kaepernick himself re-tweeted Darden ’ s tweet, which read : “ Kap did not approve this bullsh-t ! Get the f-ck out of here… ”

The National Anthem: Gladys Knight

Following the announcement that Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi would be performing at the Super Bowl, the NFL confirmed that Atlanta born-and-bred singer Gladys Knight would be singing the National Anthem at the 2019 Super Bowl. Knight, who ’ sulfur known as the “ Empress of Soul, ” shared her exhilaration in an announcement video at “ coming home ” to her native city of Atlanta for the operation.
The fabled singer subsequently weighed in on the Colin Kaepernick controversy and her decision to participate in the Super Bowl. In a statement to E ! News, Knight stressed that the national hymn should be separate from the fight for social department of justice, while pointing towards her own history of civil rights activism .

“ I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things and they are police ferocity and injustice. It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for department of justice should each stand alone, ” Knight said. “ I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the lapp prejudices and struggles I have fought long and intemperate for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good—I have been in the forefront of this conflict longer than most of those voicing their opinions to win the right to sing our nation ’ s Anthem on a stage angstrom large as the Super Bowl LIII. No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the like message, it is not so and can not be made then by anyone speaking it. ”

Additional Performers: Chloe x Halle

R & B sister act Chloe x Halle will be performing “ America the Beautiful ” at the Super Bowl says the NFL. The Atlanta born-and-bred couple, who sang the national hymn for the 2017 NFL Draft, were discovered via YouTube by Parkwood Entertainment, a record tag founded by Beyoncé in 2010. The pair besides opened for Jay Z and Beyoncé ’ s domestic On the Run II Tour in 2018. Write to Cady Lang at cady.lang @ timemagazine.com. share THIS STORY

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