Rihanna performs onstage during Rihanna's 5th Annual Diamond Ball Benefitting The Clara Lionel Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street
Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Diamond Ball)

Rihanna's Super Bowl Boycott: Supporting Colin Kaepernick Kept Her Away from the NFL

Rihanna's Super Bowl LVII halftime show, presented by Apple Music, is set to be one of the best in years. With recent halftime performers such as Maroon 5 (Super Bowl LIII), last year's salute to Los Angeles and hip-hop (Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Snoop Dogg) and The Weeknd (during Tom Brady's final Super Bowl win), the Barbados-born singer is maybe the most anticipated performer to take on the NFL's biggest stage — especially while her fans, "The Rihanna Navy," wait for the Grammy winner's latest album to drop. However, some have not forgotten that Rihanna in 2019 turned down Super Bowl LIV, citing her support of Colin Kaepernick and his fight against police brutality and racial injustice.

Rihanna Headlines Super Bowl Years After Boycotting the Event

Singer Rihanna performs at the Mandalay Bay Events Center

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

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Perhaps Jimmy Garappolo and San Francisco 49ers would have secured a ring over Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV if Rihanna had taken up the NFL on its offer to play the Super Bowl halftime show, giving the Niners some energy to fend off the Chiefs. Rihanna, who is represented by Jay-Z's Roc Nation, was set to be part of the NFL's deal with the media agency, setting up a pathway for Roc's roster of stars to perform at the high-profile event.

"Roc Nation is one of the most globally influential and impactful organizations in entertainment," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told The Associated Press. "The NFL and Roc Nation share a vision of inspiring meaningful social change across our country. We are thrilled to partner with Roc Nation and look forward to making a difference in our communities together."

The billionaire makeup mogul wasn't having it.

"I couldn't dare do that. For what?" Rihanna said in an interview with Vogue in 2019. "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."

Her self-imposed ban from performing at the Super Bowl was lifted for the 2023 event, although some progressives have pointed to Tyre Nichols' death in Memphis as a reason for Rihanna to back out of the event once again. However, the singer appears ready to go, showing no signs of slowing down.

Rihanna is set to take the stage Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. While we don't know too much about surprise appearances (Cardi B has been gaining traction on social media), we're just thrilled to have Rihanna back in our lives again, even if it's in the middle of a boring Chiefs-Eagles Super Bowl game.

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