Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton has defended the band’s controversial decision to headline the Super Bowl LIII. Maroon 5 have faced a backlash for aligning with the NFL after numerous artists, including Rihanna and Cardi B, declined to perform at the Super Bowl in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
“I think there are plenty of people – a lot of the players, to be honest – who support Kap and also do their job for the NFL,” Morton told People in a new interview Friday.
“I think we’re doing the same thing. We can support being against police brutality against black and brown people and be in support of being able to peacefully protest and still do our jobs. We just want to have a good time and entertain people while understanding the important issues that are at hand. There was a lot to go into that decision.”
Morton officially joined Maroon 5 as a full-time member in 2012 after two years in their touring band. The keyboardist called the opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl a “lifelong dream,” despite the controversy surrounding this year’s game on February 2nd in Atlanta.
“You can get bogged down by those things, we’re not focusing on the negative now [while] being aware, being open, and definitely not ignoring the voices,” Morton added. “But we’re definitely not focusing on the things that don’t help, that are counter-productive. We’re blocking out the noise. We’re just doing what we do. We look to have a good time.”
Earlier this week, the NFL finally confirmed that Maroon 5 would headline the Super Bowl LIII halftime show with guests Travis Scott and Outkast’s Big Boi. “Travis is an amazing musician, and he has had an amazing year,” Morton said of the band’s special guests. “Big Boi is Atlanta royalty. I went to Morehouse College so I was in Atlanta during the time when Outkast was really going. It was important to us to have an Atlanta legend a part of this.”