Super Bowl National Anthem Singer Slams Anthem Protesters in Moving Statement


Singer Gladys Knight apparently isn’t terribly impressed with the anthem-kneeling crowd — and she let everyone know it in a statement provided to Fox News.

Knight’s decision to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl in February had been a controversial one, as musical acts have been boycotting the game over the perception that Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed from the league.

Halftime act Maroon 5, for instance, has been turned down by several artists who they asked to appear with them during the show due to the Kaepernick controversy.

When rapper Travis Scott agreed to appear, he had a conversation with Kaepernick about his decision; while the two didn’t agree on the choice, Fox News says they “came away with a mutual understanding over why he would be performing.”

Knight, however, wasn’t quite as deferential to the former 49ers quarterback.

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“I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice,” she said in her statement.

“It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.

“I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good — I have been in the forefront of this battle longer than most of those voicing their opinions to win the right to sing our country’s Anthem on a stage as large as the Super Bowl LIII.”

“The star concluded her statement saying she hopes the confusion of the two messages can blend into one lesson of unity for America, which she hopes to kickstart when she sings the anthem at the Super Bowl,” Fox News noted.

Do you support Gladys Knight's decision?

Representatives for Knight would not comment on the statement.

In an Op-Ed for Fox News, conservative commentator Todd Starnes said that Knight was “a freedom-loving patriot” who “called out those who have been trying to score cheap political points by disgracing the ‘Star Spangled Banner.'”

“Ms. Knight’s decision to perform is especially bold considering that most high-profile musical artists are boycotting the big game to kneel in solidarity with Kaepernick,” Starnes wrote. “US magazine reports that singers do not want to be associated with the NFL until the disgraced quarterback gets a job. So far — only Maroon 5 and a rapper I’m unfamiliar with have agreed to perform.”

“Billboard Magazine says Adele, Jay-Z and Pink refused invitations. So did Rihanna, proving when it comes to supporting our military and saluting the flag – America’s entertainment industry will always take a knee,” he continued.

“Even Cardi-B (sic) — a self-described disciple of Senator Bernie Sanders — took a pass. To be honest, I’d rather sit through Nickelback concert before I’d listen to a tone-deaf, foul-mouthed socialist who once called Bernie Sanders daddy,” he added, before walking back the Nickelback remark.

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Thankfully, there will be no Nickelback or Cardi B at the Super Bowl. There will be one Motown legend, however, singing the anthem as proudly as she can.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture