Viewers blasted Rihanna for breaking her boycott of the Super Bowl to perform at the halftime show on Sunday, saying she abandoned her principles. In 2018, when former 49ers quarteback Colin Kaepernick enacted his kneeling campaign in protest of the National Anthem over police brutality, Rihanna said she would not be performing at the halftime show in solidarity with him.
According to People at the time, a source close to the singer confirmed that she was indeed offered a chance to perform at Super Bowl 2019 alongside Maroon 5 but ultimately declined the offer.
“Yes they asked her and yes, she declined,” the source said, adding that Colin Kaepernick and the #TakeAKnee movement was “likely” a deciding factor.
News of Rihanna’s boycott tickled the virtue-signaling nerve of various celebrities, including feminist icon Amy Schumer. “Wouldn’t it be so cool if @adamlevine and @maroon5 stepped down too? What do you guys think?” Schumer wrote on Instagram.
The next day, Schumer announced that she would no longer be performing in Super Bowl commercials and called on Maroon 5 to follow Rihanna in her boycott.
“Friday thought. I wonder why more white players aren’t kneeling. Once you witness the truly deep inequality and endless racism people of color face in our country, not to mention the policy brutality and murders. Why not kneel next to your brothers? Otherwise how are you not complicit?” she wrote.
“I think it would be cool if @maroon5 backed out of [the] super bowl like @badgalriri Did,” she continued, adding that she had already “told my reps I wouldn’t do a Super Bowl commercial this year.”
— Tomás Mier (@Tomas_Mier) February 13, 2023
Well, as the halftime show on Sunday proved, Rihanna did not follow through on her boycott. People did not let her live it down:
Rihanna is the biggest sellout of the past 5 years, I support Kaepernick in 2019 so I decline to do the SB halftime show, funny how people change up, I'm not being woke, she's showing how much she actually cared about Kaepernick being blacklisted, not at all!
— I Am Amanda (@BehindDemisLin3) February 12, 2023
Rihanna is pretty much what I expected of her: out of shape, limited vocal range, generally dull sounding. Better at marketing herself than performing.
— J. Myrle Fuller (@fullerwx) February 13, 2023
— Joseph Dear (@Metalsandman999) February 13, 2023
Rihanna turned down performing in Super Bowl 2019 in solidarity with Kaepernick. So….wassup? What changed?@rihanna
— PizzaLover (@LoveCopperBoo) February 13, 2023
Anyone remember when Rihanna said she wouldn’t watch football again until Kaepernick was back in the nfl
— Damien Wilson (@DamienRWilson) February 13, 2023
@rihanna remember when you turned down performing at the Super Bowl in 2019 for dumbass reasons??? But 4 years later it’s all good, Colin Kaepernick hasn’t been relevant…..Better pay now????
— Ryan Smith (@pandalorian84) February 13, 2023
rihanna failed colin kaepernick ὈὈ
— . (@hyperrnostalgia) February 13, 2023