Rihanna Turned Down Super Bowl LIII Gig in Solidarity With Colin Kaepernick: Reports

Caroline McCredie/Getty Images for Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

Rihanna attends the Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Anniversary Event at Overseas Passenger Terminal on Oct. 3, 2018 in Sydney.

Rihanna has reportedly turned down a chance to headline the Super Bowl LIII halftime show in a sign of solidarity with exiled former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

According to US Weekly, the singer was offered the gig at the big game in February 2019, but she declined due to disagreeing with the NFL’s stance on players taking a knee during the National Anthem. The movement that was started by Kaepernick in 2016 as a symbol of protest against racial injustice in America.

Rolling Stone, citing a source close to Rihanna, later confirmed the report; a spokesperson for the singer had not responded to Billboard‘s request for comment at press time. Entertainment Weekly also reported that the NFL and CBS reached out to Rihanna first to play the prestigious, high-profile gig, with a source claiming, “the offer and exposure would have been great for Rihanna as she’s planning a new album and tour but she stuck to what’s right in her eyes.”

Maroon 5 have been tapped to play halftime at the game on Feb. 3, as Billboard previously confirmed.

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