Beyoncé refused to stand for the national anthem at the Super Bowl
Beyonce and Jay-Z remained seated while Demi Lovato sang the national anthem at Super Bowl 54.
TMZ shared a video of Beyoncé and Jay-Z sitting with their daughter Blue Ivy Carter while Lovato performed “The Star Spangled Banner”, much to the chagrin of conservative critics.
The power couple have not confirmed their reasons for defying the convention of standing for the anthem, but it is widely assumed they did so in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
A former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday night’s losers, Kaepernick’s football career was effectively ended in 2017 after he began sitting and later kneeling through the national anthem in protest at police brutality against Black people.
Since then, many black celebrities have boycotted the NFL, which has been accused of blackballing Kaepernick (the league settled a collusion grievance with Kaepernick and his former teammate Eric Reid in February 2019).
In October, Rihanna confirmed that she had declined an invitation to perform at the Super Bowl half time show, telling Vogue: “I just couldn’t be a sellout.”
Jay-Z defended his controversial NFL deal ahead of the big game.
The remark was seen by many as a jibe at Jay-Z, who last year announced a partnership between his Roc Nation and the NFL.
Jay-Z is now a co-producer on the Super Bowl halftime show, which this year starred Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. In return, the NFL has pledged $100 million over the next 10 years for social justice projects.
The billionaire rapper acknowledged the blowback the deal earned him over the weekend, telling The New York Times that he wants to use the NFL’s platform to convince white football fans that police brutality is a real concern for America.
As long as real people are being hurt and marginalised and losing family members, then yes, I can take a couple rounds of negative press.
Insistent that the deal is not about making money, he said that the cultural conversation needs to move past Kaepernick’s experience.
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“No one is saying he hasn’t been done wrong,” Jay-Z said.
“He was done wrong. I would understand if it was three months ago. But it was three years ago and someone needs to say, ‘What do we do now — because people are still dying?'”
Beyonce has performed at the Super Bowl multiple times.
Beyonce had enjoyed a strong relationship with the NFL before Kaepernick’s protests. She performed the national anthem at the Super Bowl in 2004, headlined its half time performance in 2013 and returned to the field in 2016 during Coldplay’s set for a Black Panthers-themed performance of “Formation”.
The singer and noted LGBT+ ally is one of many to have publicly supporter Kaepernick. In 2017, she presented the quarterback with the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Award and paid tribute to his “personal sacrifice”.
PinkNews has contacted Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s representatives for clarification and comment.