Maroon 5 should #TakeAKnee and skip Super Bowl, petition says

Story by CBC Kids News • 2019-01-31 07:40

Controversy surrounds Super Bowl halftime show

For many musicians, playing the halftime show at the Super Bowl for millions of viewers is a dream come true.

This year, the treasured gig isn’t looking so shiny, especially for headliners Maroon 5.

That’s because of controversy surrounding quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

In 2016, Kaepernick started kneeling on the football field during the national anthem as a way to protest police violence against black people in the U.S.

He said no NFL team would sign him after that.

Now, some people are calling on Maroon 5 to support Kaepernick by cancelling the band's Super Bowl performance.

As of Jan. 31, more than 112,000 people had signed an online petition calling on Maroon 5 to drop out.

Travis Scott and Big Boi are also scheduled to perform at halftime, but the petition doesn’t mention them.

Tweet calls on @Maroon5 @trvisXX and @BigBoi to #TakeAKnee during your set. Show the hundreds of millions of people watching that you stand in solidarity with @Kaepernick7 and all the players who protest police brutality.

No comment

As of Jan. 31, the members of Maroon 5 hadn't officially commented on the petition. 

But on Jan. 29, the news conference with reporters that usually happens in the days leading up to the Super Bowl was cancelled.

Some people on social media were suggesting the event was dropped so band members wouldn’t have to face any tough questions about Kaepernick.

Tweet reads We don't want you asking difficult questions about racial and social justice.

In a statement explaining the cancellation, the NFL said “the artists will let their show do the talking.”

Backlash

Some media outlets are reporting that Rihanna was offered the Super Bowl gig before Maroon 5 and turned it down in support of Kaepernick.

CBC Kids News was unable to confirm that.

On Instagram, comedian Amy Schumer said “it would be cool” if Maroon 5 dropped out of the halftime show.

She said she refused to appear in any Super Bowl commercials this year in support of Kaepernick’s protest.

Fans speak out

Meanwhile, many fans are reaching out to Maroon 5 and asking the band not to drop out of the Super Bowl.

Tweet says: Cannot wait to see you at halftime! Proud you did not give in to politics that never belong in sports. Not to mention the disrespect of our flag and nation. Sports and music are supposed to make people feel happy and find a moment to get away from politics and stress of everyday.

Donation for kids

On Jan. 29, Maroon 5, the band’s record label Interscope Records, and the NFL announced they were going to make a $500,000 donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

That’s a group that matches kids in the U.S. with adult mentors.

The president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Pam Iorio, tweeted the news.

Tweet @PamIorio says Thank you @maroon5 for helping ignite potential in young people.

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