This year the 53rd Super Bowl will take place in Atlanta, the hometown of countless amazing hip-hop artists: Outkast, T.I., 2 Chainz, Future, Jeezy, Migos, Ludacris, Childish Gambino, Killer Mike, Gucci Mane - the list goes on and on. So, you know who's performing at the Super Bowl halftime show: Maroon 5! Wooo! Nothing captures the spirit of Atlanta like a white pop rock band. What's wrong, NFL? Were Hanson and Creed busy?
Many people criticized the NFL for their choice of performer. But according to a report from US Weekly, Maroon 5 was not the NFL's first choice. Their first choice was Rihanna, the golden-voiced goddess behind a million smash pop singles, and a lady who may or may not have given Eminem hickeys. "The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta," said the insider. "They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance."
In case you've been living under a rock for two years, you might want to go back under the rock. The world is an absolute dumpster fire right now. But since you're out from under that rock, the "kneeling controversy" is a peaceful protest to raise awareness about police brutality and racial injustice. These issues are nothing new to America - slavery free for 153 years! Woo! However, a string of prominent cases where police officers killed unarmed black people for no reason sparked outrage. To add insult to injury, most of these officers were acquitted, or not even charged, even when their actions were caught on camera.
By kneeling during the national anthem, NFL players hope to bring awareness to this serious issue. However, this peaceful protest has enraged some football fans. You see, standing on the field for the national anthem during a football game is a sacred tradition, dating all the way back to 2009. That's almost a decade! Right-wing critics claim that 'taking a knee' is disrespectful to the American flag, although they seem to have no problem with Southerners flying the traitorous Confederate flag. They also claim that kneeling is disrespectful to military veterans, even though military veterans support the kneeling protest, believing the freedom to do so is what makes America great.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first player to kneel, and many others have followed his lead. After President Trump repeatedly attacked the NFL players at rallies, and on Twitter, calling them "sons of bitches" who should be fired, the debate became a cultural flashpoint. Kaepernick claims he's been blackballed from the league since March 2017, with no team willing to sign him despite being qualified. However, he did pick up one sweet gig: Nike made him the face of their new campaign, leading to a 31% jump in sales, and a 99% jump in idiots burning their shoes. (That'll show 'em!)
In a bizarro world, nobody would be apoplectic over a peaceful protest, and Outkast would be playing at the Super Bowl halftime show. But until we can find The Subtle Knife, slice open the air and step into another universe, we'll have to live with this one. If it's any consolation, a source told US Weekly that Queens rap star Cardi B might become a special guest during Maroon 5's set. "She is definitely being considered, but it’s obviously way too early to say for sure," said one source, while another insider stated, "Pepsi, the NFL and Cardi are all interested in her performing more than just her 'Girls Like You' verse."
Well, we'll see what happens. On Twitter, many people praised RiRi for showing solidarity with Kap. Maroon 5 has Moves Like Jagger, but Rihanna has Moves Like Integrity.