BY Ashley Engle
On Oct. 19, it was announced that fellow pop star Rihanna had rejected the NFL’s offer to perform during the halftime show of Super Bowl LII, in her continued support for quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick was an American football player for the San Francisco 49ers until 2016 when he chose to advocate for police brutality and the racial inequalities in the USA by kneeling for the national anthem instead of standing.
This protest resulted in different opinions from many, that were either positive or negative.
According to the official NFL website, Kaepernick told the NFL media that, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Students had mixed reviews on Rihanna’s decision to opt out of the Halftime show.
“I am a big believer in standing up for what we believe in but for Rihanna to give up an opportunity like that just seems crazy to me,” said senior Yasmine Khaddage. “It doesn’t seem worth it enough to support someone like Colin Kaepernick. Social issues just shouldn’t be brought into football, he isn’t paid to be a leader for social injustices,”
Other students viewed her decision as setting an example on what needs to be done by all Americans, old or young.
“This is the era of raising awareness and I think Rihanna is setting such an amazing example for not just America but for the growing youth. Kaepernick should be recognized for what he has done because it was really brave, and I truly admire what he took a stand for,” said Junior Taylor Mewhiney.
Rihanna’s support for Kaepernick has caused certain celebrities to rally behind the movement.
Rapper Cardi B has been a dedicated supporter of Kaepernick’s movement since mentioning him in her 2017 winning VMAs speech.
Reported by Billboard, Cardi B said, “Colin Kaepernick: As long as you kneel with us, we are going to stand for you baby.”
In addition to Rihanna and Cardi B, comedian Amy Schumer also stated that she would be boycotting the football event as well.
Senior Amelia Justo said,“I think that she is being a little too extreme. The NFL has nothing to do with this issue. The “Super Bowl,” is about being an American. Everyone comes together to watch the game, eat snacks, and watch the commercials,”
Though there are various opinions on celebrities boycotting the “Super Bowl,” the game is something that can be looked forward to every year for its memorable moments.
“I really loved watching the past performances especially Justin Timberlake last year. Performers in the past have done a great job with also including powerful messages in their performances. The Halftime show is the best part of the “Super Bowl,” without a doubt,” said Justo.
Maroon 5 is set to be the only performers during the upcoming game’s half time show on Feb. 3, 2019.