Rihanna’s Not a Sellout: Why She Rejected Super Bowl Halftime Show

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Rihanna has finally spoken out about turning down the Super Bowl halftime show last season.

The 31-year-old singer has confirmed all the rumors about turning down the offer to perform for the Super Bowl halftime last season when she candidly spoke about it for her cover story with Vogue.

rihanna confirms why turned down super bowl halftime show
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Supporting Colin Kaepernick

Rihanna was a top pick for last year’s halftime show. According to one inside source, “The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be the performer in Atlanta.” However, Rihanna turned down the offer in solidarity with Kaepernick.

Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2016 season. During that season, he started taking a knee during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racism against African-Americans in the United States. His actions sparked a wider protest movement, which drew plenty of criticism, particularly from president Donald Trump.

The former San Fransisco 49ers QB opted out of his contract and became a free agent but has since remained unsigned. He later filed a grievance against the NFL and its owners, alleging that they were colluding to keep him out of the league.

‘I Couldn’t Be a Sellout’

During her interview for Vogue‘s cover story, Rihanna officially confirmed that she did, in fact, turn down performing at the halftime show because she didn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.

“I couldn’t dare do that,” she said. “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.”

NFL + Jay-Z

Jay-Z also reportedly turned down the halftime show thanks to the NFL treating Kaepernick like dog food and has harshly criticized the NFL, but it seems like he changed his mind. In August, he entered into a partnership with the NFL that put him in charge of managing some of the league’s entertainment options.

That partnership has been instrumental in bringing Jennifer Lopez and Shakira to perform at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show.