Cameras captured rap mogul Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce remaining seated, during the singing of the national anthem on Super Bowl Sunday.
However, during a forum held at Columbia University, a professor asked the rapper whether he was conveying a “message” in remaining seated during the anthem. According to Jay-Z, the famous couple “actually wasn’t” trying to send a message.
“We immediately jumped into artist mode,” Jay-Z explained. “I’m really just looking at the show. The mics start. Was it too low to start?”
Jay-Z went on to claim that he was paying more attention to the performance, than to standing during the anthem. Jay-Z partnered with the NFL and took on a leading role with the league’s entertainment and social justice initiatives. He also arranged the talent for the Super Bowl, including anthem singer Demi Lovato and halftime performers Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.
According to TMZ:
Jay said there was no need for a ‘silent protest’ — as some speculated they were doing — because we were “making the biggest loudest protest of all” by selecting such a diverse group of artists to perform at the game.
He also joked about people thinking they had Blue Ivy in on the alleged protest — saying, there’s no way their 8-year-old could possibly play it cool … especially on camera.
Jay-Z faced considerable backlash after partnering with the NFL while original anthem-protester Colin Kaepernick remains out of work. The rap mogul defended his business arrangement with the NFL by saying “we’ve moved past kneeling.” And that such a deal would ensure that the social justice work Colin Kaepernick began, would continue to move forward despite the fact that Kaepernick is no longer in the league.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn