UPDATE, March 20, 2020: Several days after the publication of this article, Jay-Z told Newsweek that the incident was not premeditated, but caused by his professional involvement as a musician in partnership with the NFL. He also said that he would not have put his daughter, who was with him at the game, in that position.
Musicians Jay-Z and Beyoncé sparked a bit of controversy Sunday by not standing during the pregame playing of the national anthem at the Super Bowl.
The married couple was caught on camera remaining seated just prior to kickoff between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.
Protesting during the national anthem became a trend in 2016, when then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling to protest police brutality and alleged racial injustice in the U.S.
The protest spread around the league, though Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers at the end of the 2016-17 season and has not played in the NFL since.
It was not clear if Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Corey Carter, or Beyoncé, who’s full legal name is Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, were protesting by remaining seated.
The video of Jay-Z and Beyoncé sitting during the national anthem caused quite a stir on social media:
I don’t give a damn whether Beyonce and Jay Z agree with the current administration. They should stand up for the men and women who are fighting each and every day for their ability to rake in millions from the American people. Absolutely pathetic! https://t.co/EzcMQOhs62
— Kyle Morris (@RealKyleMorris) February 3, 2020
Beyonce and Jay Z hate @realDonaldTrump more than they love this country.
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) February 3, 2020
WATCH: While thousands of proud Americans stood in-allegiance for the National Anthem, Jay-Z and Beyonce sat in silence.
America has no place for unpatriotic scum like these two.
— Andrew Pollack (@AndrewPollackFL) February 3, 2020
Jay-Z has previously spoken in support of Kaepernick’s protest.
But Roc Nation, the entertainment agency Jay-Z founded, recently entered into a partnership with the NFL, leading some liberals to criticize the rapper.
Still, as The New York Times reported, “Roc Nation has asked [NFL commissioner Roger] Goodell to commit the league to spending $100 million over the next 10 years on social justice outreach and causes.”
“No one is saying he hasn’t been done wrong,” Jay-Z told The Times, referring to Kaepernick.
“He was done wrong. I would understand if it was three months ago,” he added.
“But it was three years ago and someone needs to say, ‘What do we do now — because people are still dying?’” Newsweek
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