Rihanna almost broke the internet when it was revealed that she would be performing at next year’s halftime show during the 2023 Super Bowl. While the Navy was rejoicing and hoping this meant an album was coming, some were giving Rih the side eye. She was deemed a hypocrite on social media because a few years ago she rejected a halftime show offer to stand in solidarity with Colin Kapernick.
“The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” an insider told Us Magazine in 2019. “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
The Fenty CEO confirmed this news in an interview with Vogue.
“I couldn’t dare do that,” she said. “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.”
Colin Kaepernick hasn’t played football since 2017. He sparked controversy when he kneeled during the national anthem in December 2016. After opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers, he wasn’t signed by another team, seemingly being blackballed from the NFL because of his peaceful protest.
Since the announcement, the “Love On The Brain” singer has been getting criticized online.
“So now Rihanna and others are ok with doing the Superbowl Halftime Show, but back when Trump was president she was one of the loudest voices against it! See how ridiculous the hatred for Trump is, such HYPOCRITES!!!,” one person tweeted.
Someone else tweeted that Rihanna is far from a hypocrite. Since Kaepernick has been actively trying to get signed by a NFL team, she doesn’t have a reason to continue her own protest, they said.
“Rihanna is not a hypocrite for announcing her Super Bowl Halftime Show,” they wrote. “Kaepernick has been trying to get back into the NFL for years. He is a hypocrite. Rihanna stopped protesting since Kaep has been trying out to get on NFL team.”
Another Twitter user echoed those sentiments and said if Kaepernick isn’t protesting then why should she?
“I’m sure Rihanna, Jay-Z, whoever else black does/will do the SB is aware y’all are going to call them a hypocrite. They don’t care. No one is standing behind Kaepernick and his weird half-ass boycott anymore. Him actively trying to return to that league cancelled all that out.”
The Super Bowl halftime show at Super Bowl LVII will air on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Arizona.