Roger Waters Asks Maroon 5 to 'Take a Knee' During Super Bowl - Rolling Stone
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Roger Waters Asks Maroon 5 to ‘Take a Knee’ During Super Bowl Halftime Show

“I call upon [Maroon 5] to do it in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, to do it for every child shot to death on these mean streets, to do it for every bereaved mother and father and brother and sister,” Waters says

Adam Levine of Maroon 5 & Roger Waters

Shutterstock; Onni Ojala/Shutterstock

Former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters posted a video of himself and his band taking a knee in an effort to persuade Maroon 5 and their guests to follow suit during the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday. “My colleagues Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi are performing during the halftime show at the Super-bowl this coming Sunday, I call upon them to ‘take a knee’ on stage in full sight,” Waters wrote in a statement. “I call upon them to do it in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, to do it for every child shot to death on these mean streets, to do it for every bereaved mother and father and brother and sister.”

Waters and his band kneeled after a concert in Hartford, Connecticut in September 2017, about a year after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began refusing to stand for the National Anthem in protest of racial injustice and police brutality. President Trump began speaking out against the protests around the time that Waters took a knee in the video. Kaepernick hasn’t played in a game since 2016 and has alleged collusion through a lawyer that he’s been locked out of the game for his protests.

“We did it in solidarity with San Francisco Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s gesture of protest against the endemic racism and often deadly force meted out by police departments across this land,” Waters wrote. “It was the third Sunday of Colin Kaepernick’s lock out by the NFL. The message was clear, ‘Shut your mouth, boy!’ Next Sunday will be the 36th Sunday he has been locked out of your national game. This is not a victory for the NFL, it is a defeat, you have denied football fans everywhere the pleasure and the honor of watching one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever played the game, and you have shown your true colors.”

As part of his statement, Waters also said he supported a Change.org petition asking Maroon 5 to drop out of the halftime show. It has amassed more than 112,000 signatures so far with a goal of 150,000.

“My mother used to say to me, ‘In any situation there is nearly always a right thing to do, just do it,'” Waters wrote. “So there you go my brothers, you are faced with a choice, I’m not saying it will be easy, all the President’s men, all the huffers and puffers, will be royally pissed off, but, $#@%’em, I call upon you to do it because it’s the right thing to do and because somewhere inside you know it.”

He signed his message, “Love, Roger Waters.”

Earlier this week, Maroon 5 announced that it was canceling a pre–Super Bowl press conference, saying that they were working hard to create a show that will “meet and exceed the standards of this event.” The band has made a $500,000 donation to Big Brothers, Big Sisters of America, along with the NFL and its label; people have perceived this move as a response to criticism for their going forward with the performance. Travis Scott reportedly only agreed to take part in the performance if the NFL made a joint donation of $500,000 to Van Jones’ Dream Corps, which supports social justice initiatives.

Many artists, including Rihanna and Cardi B, declined to perform at the Super Bowl as a sign of solidarity with Kaepernick.

Read Roger Waters’ full open letter:

This is my band taking a knee at the end of a gig in Hartford, Connecticut on Sunday 24th of September 2017. We did it in solidarity with San Francisco Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s gesture of protest against the endemic racism and often deadly force meted out by police departments across this land. It was the third Sunday of Colin Kaepernick’s lock out by the NFL. The message was clear, “Shut your mouth, boy!” Next Sunday will be the 36th Sunday he has been locked out of your national game. This is not a victory for the NFL, it is a defeat, you have denied football fans everywhere the pleasure and the honor of watching one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever played the game, and you have shown your true colors. You can sit in your boardrooms and huff and puff on your cigars in your glass boxes, but your action is a poke in the eye for everything that is decent in America. Colin Kaepernick is an American hero. If the USA is to have a future, it is the Colin Kaepernicks of this world who will lead you there, in fact, it is Colin Kaepernick who is leading you now. My colleagues Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi are performing during the halftime show at the Super-bowl this coming Sunday, I call upon them to “take a knee” on stage in full sight. I call upon them to do it in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, to do it for every child shot to death on these mean streets, to do it for every bereaved mother and father and brother and sister. My mother used to say to me, “In any situation there is nearly always a right thing to do, just do it.” So, there you go my brothers, you are faced with a choice, I’m not saying it will be easy, all the Presidents men, all the huffers and puffers, will be royally pissed off, but, $#@%’em, I call upon you to do it because it’s the right thing to do and because somewhere inside you know it.

Love,
Roger Waters

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