Super Bowl 2020: Beyoncé and JAY-Z Remain Seated During National Anthem

Super Bowl 2020: Beyoncé and JAY-Z Remain Seated During National Anthem

The movement of sitting down or kneeling during the national anthem was started by Colin Kaepernick nearly four years ago to raise awareness about racism and police brutality in the United States.

Image Source: Instagram/Beyonce

Beyoncé and Jay-Z chose to remain seated, along with their 8-year-old daughter Blue Ivy, during Demi Lovato's performance of the national anthem at Super Bowl LIV, confirms People. The movement was started by Colin Kaepernick nearly four years ago to raise awareness of racism and police brutality in the United States. The superstar couple’s decision to sit during Demi Lovato’s performance, which was first reported by TMZ, comes about six months after JAY-Z signed a deal with the NFL. The deal is said to have brought the rapper on as a “live music entertainment strategist” through his company Roc Nation.


At that time, he made it a point to bring change in the organization by pushing for inclusivity. “The NFL has a great big platform, and it has to be all-inclusive,” he told the Times of agreeing to work with the NFL and its activism arm, Inspire Change. “They were willing to do some things, to make some changes, that we can do some good.”  It was also reported that JAY-Z and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had spoken with Kaepernick ahead of the deal and that its goals transcended the protests.


“I think that we forget that Colin’s whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice so in that case, this is a success — this is the next thing,” JAY-Z said, per TMZ. “There’s two parts of protest: the protest, and then there’s a company or individual saying ‘I hear you, what do we do next?’ For me it’s about actionable items, what are we gonna do about it?” Kaepernick first knelt in protest during the preseason while he was the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016.


“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he told NFL Media after that game, in which the Northern California team lost to the Green Bay Packers. “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.” Around the same time, NFL released at the time that said players are “encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem."


“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” Kaepernick told NFL Media. “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.” Last August, the athlete marked three years since he first knelt in protest, and said that he will continue his “fight for liberation.”


“Today marks the three year anniversary of the first time I protested systemic oppression,” the athlete wrote on Twitter, sharing a video compilation of footage of police brutality and family members crying on behalf of the victims. “I continue to work and stand with the people in our fight for liberation, despite those who are trying to erase the movement!” “The movement has always lived with the people!” he wrote.


While last year’s halftime show was headlined by Maroon 5, it was initially Rihanna who was approached for the gig, but she turned it down in solidarity with Kaepernick. “I couldn’t dare do that,” the “Diamonds” singer told Vogue in October. “For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. 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.” Other celebrities that have spoken out in support of the #TakeAKnee movement include Jesse Williams, John Leguizamo, Stevie Wonder and more.


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