Colin Kaepernick thanks Rihanna for her Super Bowl boycott comments
This weekend, the New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams in order to secure a remarkable sixth Super Bowl ring for Tom Brady. Despite the worldwide audience for the game, however, there was a significant number of people who decided not to tune in by way of protest on behalf of Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, has not played in the NFL since 2016 thanks to his peaceful protests against racism and police brutality towards people of colour.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour," he explained early on in his protests. "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."
Rihanna, along with a number of other celebrities, boycotted the Super Bowl on Sunday in support of Kaepernick.
"For those of you who thought I was watchin the Super Bowl… we beefin," she wrote on Instagram alongside a drawing of the 31-year-old quarterback.
This followed a post in which she explained that she was on a flight, and another woman wanted to watch the game while they were in the air.
Kaepernick responded to the singer's comments by sharing her post with the caption, "I really appreciate @badgalriri keepin it 💯✊🏾."
And there were plenty of other celebrities who supported him, too:
Rihanna actually turned down the opportunity to play this year's halftime show, too (which is why Maroon 5 claimed the headliner spot), as did Cardi B.
"My husband, he loves football. His kids play football. It’s really hard for him. ... He really wants to go to the Super Bowl, but he can’t go to the Super Bowl, because he’s got to stand for something," Cardi explained. "You have to sacrifice that. I got to sacrifice a lot of money to perform. But there’s a man who sacrificed his job for us, so we got to stand behind him."
Kaepernick is currently pursuing legal action against the NFL, arguing that the league colluded to keep him out of play because of his decision to speak up against racism. The case is expected to go to trial at some point in the future.