Rihanna, one of the best-selling music artists of all time, has turned down a coveted offer by the NFL to headline the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime Show because she stands in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and NFL players who take a knee.
The multiple Grammy-winning artist was the organization’s first choice for Super Bowl LIII to take place on Feb. 3, 2019.
“The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” an insider revealed to US Weekly. “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
Rihanna has sold 124 million digital singles in the U.S., which is 10 million more than any other artist, according to Forbes. The 30-year-old is also an entrepreneur with a cosmetics line that made $100 million in sales in its first 40 days on the market.
In 2016, Kaepernick became the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem in protest of police brutality, since then he has been shunned by the organization.
He is currently pursuing a grievance against the NFL. Kaepernick claims that ever since he opted out of his contract with the 49ers in early 2017, team owners and executives have colluded to keep him out of the league. Harvard University, last week, awarded him with the W.E.B Du Bois Medal, one of its highest honors.
In lieu of Rihanna, Maroon 5 will perform during the halftime show.