Pop star Rihanna declined a request to perform at the Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show because the singer disagrees with the National Football League's stance on kneeling during the national anthem, according to a report Thursday.
“The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” an unnamed source told the news outlet. “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
The singer, who hails from Barbados, reportedly turned down the highly sought after performance spot in support of the movement started by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The ex-San Francisco 49ers player began kneeling during the U.S. anthem during the 2016 season to call attention to social injustice and racial inequality.
Kaepernick recently kicked off a "Just Do It" campaign with Nike, which features the former football player’s face with the quote "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything."
“If the NFL (as well as all professional sports leagues) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful political protest — which the owners themselves made great theater imitating weeks ago — should not be punished and athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the executive branch of our government,” Kaepernick previously said in a statement.
Maroon 5 is set to headline the Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show on Feb. 4, 2019.