- Maroon 5 is scheduled to perform at the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show.
- Over 21,000 people have signed a petition asking the band to drop out of the performance to show support for Colin Kaepernick.
- The petition notes that Jay-Z and Rihanna both reportedly turned down the offer for that very reason.
Over 21,000 people have signed a Change.org petition demanding that Maroon 5 turn down the opportunity to show support for Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who kneeled during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality.
“Kaepernick risked his career to take a knee for equality, and the NFL punished him for it,” the petition reads. “Until the league changes their policy and support players’ constitutional right to protest, no artists should agree to work with the NFL.”
While the members of the band have not yet confirmed their acceptance of the offer, front man and “The Voice” coach Adam Levine has said in the past that the band has been on the shortlist to play the Super Bowl for years. In a 2015 interview with Howard Stern, Levine added, “we very actively want to play the Super Bowl.”
The petition notes that other prominent artists have reportedly rejected offers to headline the Super Bowl halftime show out of support for Kaepernick – most notably, Rihanna.
As INSIDER previously reported, sources say Rihanna takes issue with the NFL’s official stance on players who take a knee during the national anthem. NFL owners voted unanimously last May to require players on the field to stand for the anthem or face a fine. But recently, that policy appears to have been quietly swept under the rug.
“The band has a chance to stand on the right side of history,” the petition reads. “If they don’t, they will be remembered for choosing to side with the NFL over its players.”
The petition also names Jay-Z, a vocal supporter of Kaepernick and who claimed he “said no to the Super Bowl” in a recent song, and comic Amy Schumer, who has said she refuses to appear in any commercials during the 2019 Super Bowl.
Schumer showed support for Rihanna’s decision in an Instagram post from October – and called on Maroon 5 to drop out.
“I think it would be cool if @maroon5 backed out of super bowl like @badgalriri Did. I personally told my reps I wouldn’t do a Super Bowl commercial this year,” she wrote. “I know it must sound like a privilege arse sacrifice but it’s all i got. Hitting the nfl with the advertisers is the only way to really hurt them.”
“Stand up for your brothers and sisters of colour,” she continued. “Anyone who says its disrespectful to our military please read up on the fact that a lot of veterans are proud of what @kaepernick7 is doing and fully support him.”
Representatives for Levine and Maroon 5 didn’t immediately return INSIDER’s request for comment.