Pop superstar Rihanna reportedly was offered the choice spot as headliner during the Super Bowl halftime show, but turned it down in a show of support for Colin Kaepernick.
Rihanna hasn’t commented, but Variety cites a source who reportedly confirmed the story, which first appeared in Us Weekly. Kaepernick, the former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, sparked a huge controversy over “taking a knee” during the National Anthem at NFL games as a protest against alleged police brutality and racial inequality.
Variety reports that Kaepernick “once admitted to having a crush on Rihanna,” and adds that he “has not played professionally since the controversy arose during the 2016 season. He filed a grievance against the league and team owners last year, accusing them of colluding to keep him off the field.”
Rihanna reportedly is opposed to the NFL’s position on kneeling during the Anthem.
Us Weekly cites an unnamed insider saying: “The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta. They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
Maroon 5 will headline the halftime show at the Super Bowl, which airs on CBS on Feb. 3.