- Star was approached about February’s halftime show
- Rihanna also attacks Donald Trump in Vogue interview
Rihanna has confirmed she turned down the chance to headline February’s Super Bowl halftime show in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
In 2016, quarterback Kaepernick started to kneel for the pre-game national anthem in protest at racial injustice in the United States. He has been out of the NFL since leaving the San Francisco 49ers in 2017, and he later settled a case with the league in which he alleged he had been blackballed by team owners for his protests.
In an interview with Vogue published online on Wednesday, Rihanna was asked whether she had turned down the Super Bowl in solidarity with Kaepernick. “Absolutely,” she said. “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, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”
February’s show was instead headlined by Maroon 5, who garnered underwhelming reviews for their performance. Cardi B was also approached to headline the show but turned down the chance as a show of support for Kaepernick.
In the interview with Vogue, Rihanna also addressed the treatment of mass shootings in the US. “It is devastating,” she told the magazine. “People are being murdered by war weapons that they legally purchase. This is just not normal. That should never, ever be normal. And the fact that it’s classified as something different because of the color of their skin? It’s a slap in the face. It’s completely racist.” She added: “Put an Arab man with that same weapon in that same Walmart and there is no way that Trump would sit there and address it publicly as a mental health problem. The most mentally ill human being in America right now seems to be the president.”