Maroon 5 will not appear at a customary news conference to promote their performance at the Super Bowl halftime show, the National Football League said in a statement on Twitter. Fellow performers Travis Scott and Big Boi will reportedly not participate either.
“Maroon 5 has been working hard on a Pepsi Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show that will meet and exceed the standards of this event,” the NFL said. “As it is about music, the artists will let their show do the talking as they prepare to take the stage this Sunday.”
— NFL345 (@NFL345) January 29, 2019
The NFL added that instead of the press conference, a variety of behind-the-scenes footage and content from each performer would be released in the coming days.
The announcement comes amid continued criticism over Maroon 5, Big Boi and Scott’s decision to perform at the Super Bowl as the NFL remains locked in a legal battle with Colin Kaepernick. The quarterback has not played in the league since 2017 and he’s alleged that the league and team owners are colluding against him over his protests against police brutality. Several artists, including Rihanna and Cardi B, declined to perform at the Super Bowl in solidarity with Kaepernick.
Ostensibly in response to the criticism, Maroon 5 also announced Tuesday that they, along with the NFL and their label, Interscope Records, would make a $500,000 donation to Big Brothers, Big Sisters of America. “Playing the Super Bowl has been a dream of our band for a long time,” Maroon 5’s Adam Levine told People. “We thank the NFL for the opportunity and also to them, along with Interscope Records, for making this donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters, which will have a major impact for children across the country.”
Earlier this month, Billboard reported that Scott only agreed to perform at the Super Bowl after the NFL agreed to make a joint $500,000 donation to Van Jones’ Dream Corps, which champions social justice causes.
While Maroon 5 have largely remained silent about Kaepernick and the controversy surrounding the halftime show, keyboardist PJ Morton did defend the group’s decision in a recent interview. “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. “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.”