With four weeks to go until the 2019 Super Bowl, the National Football League has yet to confirm a performer for the half-time show with A list names including Rihanna and Cardi B refusing to sing, instead standing in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
And that may all be because of the NAACP who have revealed they have approached several artists to ‘implore them to rethink their participation’.
‘The majority of artists we’ve reached out to are standing in solidarity against the NFL. They do not want to be associated because of the protest that was started by Mr Kaepernick against racial injustice and police brutality,’ said Gerald Griggs, vice-president of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP civil rights group, speaking to The Observer.
The NFL has become embroiled in an ongoing protest over a player’s right to take a knee during the national anthem.
Colin, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, began the protest in 2016 when he started to kneel to highlight racial inequality and police brutality against racial minorities.
President Trump waded in when told the NFL that if players refused to stand for the anthem they should ‘get that son of a bitch off the field right now’.
Colin left the team that year and went unsigned, leading to allegations that he was being blackballed by NFL owners and in November 2017, he filed a grievance claim accusing NFL owners of collusion to keep him out of the league. It will go to trial after a request by the league to dismiss the complaint was rejected.
Maroon 5 have long been rumoured to be the main act for the 13-minute performance but no announcement has yet been made, although reps for the band have also not denied the news.
It is thought the band has ‘reached out to more than a half-dozen stars to appear as featured guests’ but no one has agreed, leading Variety to brand it ‘music’s least wanted gig’.
Rapper Travis Scott is also thought to be performing but is reportedly facing pressure Jay-Z to pull out; pal Meek Mill also took to Twitter to claims Travis ‘don’t need that he on fire already!’
‘We appreciate the entertainers for lending their voices in opposition and standing with us. We call on artists like Travis Scott to pull out,’ added Griggs.
The Super Bowl will take place on 3 February at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
Rihanna was thought to be the league’s first choice for the show, which in the past has seen the likes of Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, and Prince take to the field.
But the 30-year-old turned down the opportunity, telling the league she was in support of Colin.
The pop star is now said to be taking things one step further to work with the athlete on making a positive change in ‘a fun and powerful way’ all in the name of social justice reform.
We understand that this collaboration has something to do with one of her music videos, with the Wild Thoughts hitmaker and Colin excited to push boundaries together.
The insider said: ‘Colin was overwhelmed when he found out Rihanna turned down the Super Bowl to stand with him in his protest against anti-black violence and injustices.
‘He’d heard a little while before the rest of the world did and since then they’ve been speaking regularly and have decided to work on something related to social justice reform.
‘They’re both leaders in their lanes and believe they have the power to inspire positive change in a fun and powerful way.’