Singer/actress Rihanna has reportedly turned down a chance to headline the halftime show at Super Bowl LIII because she supports former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has a collusion lawsuit against the National Football League.
Kaepernick is out of the NFL after becoming a free agent two years ago and not finding a new team. He claims that he has not been picked up because of his political stances. He was the first player to kneel during the national anthem, allegedly as a protest against injustice.
A 49ers teammate who later joined him in the protests, safety Eric Reid, also has a collusion lawsuit against the NFL. Reid, however, was picked up as a free agent by the Carolina Panthers two weeks ago. He kneeled for the national anthem in his first game.
US Weekly is reporting that Rihanna turned down the halftime gig because of Kaepernick and the NFL’s overall handling of national anthem protests. The league is currently not imposing any rules on player conduct. It did impose new rules against protesting during the anthem, but subsequent player backlash led to a decision not to enforce the new rules this season.
This year’s Super Bowl will be played in Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The NFL is reportedly turning to Maroon 5 (featuring longtime The Voice judge Adam Levine), with a potential guest appearance by Cardi B, as its Plan B.