Rihanna turned down an opportunity to headline the halftime show at Super Bowl LIII in a show of support to Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who has been exiled from the NFL following his anthem protests.
The news was first reported by Us Weekly that the Anti singer was offered the February 2019 halftime show, which will now feature Maroon 5 and special guests. A source close to Rihanna confirmed to Rolling Stone that the singer declined due to her support of Kaepernick as well as the NFL’s controversial (and ultimately stalled) anthem policy.
“The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” an insider told Us Weekly. “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
“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,” the Rihanna insider told Entertainment Tonight, who reported that Pink also turned down the halftime show after negotiations stalled.
A rep for Kaepernick did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Rihanna has not commented on the Super Bowl LIII report on social media. While Maroon 5 have been confirmed as next year’s halftime headliners at Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium, the NFL has not yet officially announced the performers, which may include the band’s “Girls Like You” co-star Cardi B.