Brow Beat

Rihanna Reportedly Declined Super Bowl Gig in Solidarity With Colin Kaepernick

Rihanna stares straight ahead, wearing a bucket hat and large hoop earrings. Behind her are signs for Fenty Beauty and Sephora.
Rihanna.
Caroline McCredie/Getty Images

Rihanna has passed up a chance to headline the Super Bowl LIII halftime show out of solidarity with protesting NFL players, according to reports. Us Weekly and Rolling Stone report that the musician declined an offer to perform at the halftime show because she supports former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and disagrees with how the league has treated athletes who protest police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem.

“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,” a source told Entertainment Tonight. Kaepernick has accused NFL officials of colluding to keep him out of the league over his political beliefs. Rihanna has been an outspoken critic of the deaths of unarmed civilians at the hands of law enforcement; in 2016, she participated in a collaboration with Alicia Keys and Mic called “23 Ways You Could Be Killed if You Are Black in America.” However, another source told ET that both Rihanna and Pink actually passed on the gig because negotiations were taking too long.

The NFL has not officially announced who will perform at the game on Feb. 3, which will take place in Atlanta, but multiple outlets have named Maroon 5 as the likely headliner.