Rihanna could have performed at the Super Bowl in 2019, but she decided to put her values first instead. The musician and beauty icon reportedly turned down an offer to be Super Bowl LIII's halftime act due to the NFL's stance against Colin Kaepernick.
In 2016, Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem, describing this as a protest against the United States' racial injustice, especially in regards to the police violence which sparked the Black Lives Matter movement. The decision sparked intense debate within cultural and political spheres, but ultimately the NFL banned on-field kneeling during the national anthem, a decision supported by conservatives including Donald Trump, while Kaepernick was named GQ Magazine's 2017 Citizen of the Year and appeared in a recent Nike campaign.
News of Rihanna's decision is sure to please her fans, many of whom have come to love her for showcasing progressive values within her areas of expertise. Fenty Beauty and Savage x Fenty have inclusively reimagined makeup and lingerie respectively, and the star's philanthropy in health and education has made her both Harvard University's 2017 Humanitarian of the Year and an official Barbadian ambassador.
With her powerful influence and progressive history, it seems only natural that Rihanna would choose not to work with the NFL after the controversy of the past two years. While it's unclear as of yet how this news will affect the reputations of Maroon 5 and any future halftime performers, the star has proved her dedication to her values and brought further attention to potentially unjust undertones within American football's biggest organization.