This year’s Super Bowl halftime show is continuing to fly off the rails as the focus stubbornly remains on everything but football.
The NFL’s handling of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest led many conservatives to turn to other sports and activities, but now the league is feeling the blow from upset liberals as well.
According to Billboard, rapper Travis Scott refused to perform in the halftime show unless the NFL joined him in donating a large amount of money to a “social justice accelerator.” Apparently, the league gave in, helping Scott give $500,000 to Dream Corps, an organization funded by liberal CNN contributor Van Jones.
In a statement, Scott said, “I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in. I know being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire. So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation. I am proud to support Dream Corps and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change."
Other big-name acts have been hard to come by. According to Complex, Rihanna, Cardi B, and Jay-Z all reportedly turned down invitations to perform during halftime because they wanted to show their support for Kaepernick.
Rev. Al Sharpton was asked for his opinion and said, "I think anyone that goes into the halftime show is in effect directly violating those that want to raise the question that the NFL should come to terms with what they have done and continue to do to Colin Kaepernick and those that protest on criminal justice issues."
He was speaking directly against Scott’s involvement and added, “You can’t tell people to stand for those that take a knee and don’t go to the games and then say 'but somebody ought to perform there and entertain.' You're drawing TV viewers, you're bringing supporters, and I think that you can’t have it both ways. You can't fight Jim Crow and then sit in the back of the bus."
Maroon 5, led by Adam Levine, has agreed to perform despite tens of thousands of people signing a Change.org petition against their participation. But now that Maroon 5 is in the halftime show, the group behind the petition says they must take a knee if they want any hope of saving face, according to Complex.
"It appears these artists aren't backing out at this point," said petition creator Vic Oyedeji. "So now what? There's one way they can still redeem their reputation with their fans. Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi: take a knee during your set.”
"Show the hundreds of millions of people watching that you stand in solidarity with Kaepernick and all players who protest police brutality. Use this opportunity to force the NFL to change their policy," he added, despite the fact that the #takeaknee protest is done during the playing of the national anthem, not at the middle point of a football game.
What a mess.