The arguments for and against former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick returning to the league, which he claims colluded to keep him out of a job, are everywhere. What started with Kaepernick’s national anthem protests exploded into a full-fledged advertising campaign of right versus wrong and widespread protests at all levels of the game.
With a successful NFL season in full bloom, the spotlight has shifted away from anthem protests and back to the game, but some people aren’t done fighting for the cause. After being selected to perform in the Super Bowl halftime show, American pop rock band Maroon 5 is being called to drop out of their performance with an online petition that has 37,000 signatures and counting.
The Change.org petition calls for the three-time Grammy Award winning band to follow in the footsteps of Hollywood elite like singer Rihanna and comedian Amy Schumer, who have taken public stances against the Super Bowl and the NFL for avoiding to support Kaepernick’s protest.
The full petition, which was started by Vic Oyedeji, reads in part:
“Maroon 5 has made music over the years featuring artists from all genres, including Rihanna, Cardi B and Kendrick Lamar — all of whom have publicly supported Kaepernick in his decision to protest the violent racism sweeping the United States. Maroon 5 must do the same. The band has a chance to stand on the right side of history. If they don’t, they will be remembered for choosing to side with the NFL over its players.”
“Colin Kaepernick has sacrificed his NFL career to call out violent racism in America, and players across the country have followed his lead. Rihanna, Jay-Z, Amy Schumer and others have refused to work with the NFL. Maroon 5: Americans look to artists and celebrities as leaders, and you have huge opportunity to use your influence to take a stand.” — Change.org
Of course, Kaepernick’s exclusion from the NFL simply isn’t based on his ability to actually play football — Following him kneeling as a San Francisco 49ers quarterback protesting police brutality and racial injustice, the league was thrust into a full-blown crisis that caused ratings to plummet, brought backlash from police organizations, and even warranted involvement from President Donald Trump.
After the protests cooled and league changes were avoided, Kaepernick’s advertising campaign with Nike sent everything haywire once again, and now his support system runs so deep that even the National Football League’s biggest game isn’t safe from controversy with this petition.
If you’re hoping to hear lead singer Adam Levine belt “Girls Like You” or “Moves Like Jagger,” you’re safe for now, as the band has made no indication they intend to pass on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform in the Super Bowl LIII halftime at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
Still, stranger things have happened. With signatures mounting in favor of the band dropping out, who knows what else could happen in this wild saga?