Amy Schumer, Rihanna, and Cardi B all made appearances at the 2023 Super Bowl, despite previously boycotting the game and turning down performances in support of Colin Kaepernick’s NFL protests.
Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, started kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest the NFL’s alleged social and racial injustices, eventually opting out of his contract the following offseason.
Cardi B and Rihanna refused to perform at the 2019 halftime show in support of Kaepernick’s political protests, but both returned this year to be featured at Sunday’s game.
Rihanna headlined the 2023 Super Bowl halftime show but reportedly declined to perform in 2019 because she “did not agree” with certain things within the NFL.
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“I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler,” Rihanna told Vogue of her reasoning to turn down the 2019 performance. “There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”
Rapper Cardi B, who also said she received an offer to perform but turned it down in support of Kaepernick, was featured in a McDonald’s commercial during this Sunday’s game.
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Amy Schumer, comedian and second cousin to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, boycotted the Super Bowl over the Kaepernick controversy, posting on Instagram that she “wouldn’t do a Super Bowl commercial this year” because “hitting the NFL with the advertisers is the only way to really hurt them.”
Despite the protest, Schumer acted in a Google Pixel Super Bowl commercial that aired during the game Sunday.
“Friday thought. I wonder why more white players aren’t kneeling. Once you witness the truly deep inequality and endless racism people of color face in our country, not to mention the police brutality and murders. Why not kneel next to your brothers? Otherwise how are you not complicit?” Schumer wrote in the 2019 post.
“I think it would be cool if @maroon5 backed out of [the] Super Bowl like @badgalriri did,” she stated.
Fox News’ Kathleen Joyce contributed to this report.