Rihanna turned down Super Bowl performance in support of Colin Kaepernick
“Absolutely,” Rihanna told Vogue. “I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler.”
Rihanna is confirming those reports that she declined an offer to perform during the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show.
In an interview with Vogue, the magazine’s November cover star was asked if she said no to the gig “in solidarity” with Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who was the first player to protest police brutality and social inequality during the national anthem, when he chose to sit and later kneel in the beginning of the 2016 season while the anthem played.
“Absolutely,” she told the outlet. “I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler.
“There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all,” she continued, “and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”
USA TODAY has reached out to the NFL via the Sports Network, Kaepernick and Pepsi, the official sponsor of the performance.
During her sit-down with the magazine, the 31-year-old Barbadian songstress also discussed new music.
“I have been trying to get back into the studio,” she said. “It’s not like I can lock myself in for an extended amount of time, like I had the luxury of doing before. I know I have some very unhappy fans who don’t understand the inside bits of how it works.”
She described her next album as “reggae-inspired or reggae-infused.”
“It’s not gonna be typical of what you know as reggae. But you’re going to feel the elements in all of the tracks,” she said, adding that the genre is ”in my blood.
“It doesn’t matter how far or long removed I am from that culture, or my environment that I grew up in; it never leaves. It’s always the same high,” she said. ”Even though I’ve explored other genres of music, it was time to go back to something that I haven’t really homed in on completely for a body of work.”
Rihanna didn’t say when the new album would be released.
Contributing: Lorenzo Reyes, Scott Gleeson and Tom O’Toole
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