It's fair to say that all the hype around the Super Bowl can often overshadow the rest of the game. Seriously, the trailers and adds, the controversies and scandal, and even the performance of the national anthem can often end up being even more spectacular and astonishing than the actual game. It's a bit irksome for football fans who only care about the sport and are indifferent to all the furore around it, but for the rest of us, it's all just part of the wonderful yearly show.
Needless to say, one of last night's big talking points was Gladys Knight's national anthem performance, which managed to blow viewers at home away and leave us all stunned by her incredible vocal talents ahead of the New England Patriots’ game against the Los Angeles Rams. This all despite the fact that Knight had managed to incur some controversy in certain quarters, with her vocal support of the NFL in the midst of the Black Lives Matter campaign.
For example, one Twitter user wrote: "On the Super Bowl ...the highlight for me was the incredible performance of the National Anthem by the incomparable Gladys Knight." Another added: "Winner of the night @MsGladysKnight no one kneeled. You brought everyone together Gladys." Finally, another person chimed in: "My favourite part of the Super Bowl was @MsGladysKnight!! That clear pure cool exquisite voice is a wonder. And her beauty emanates from her soul ... the National anthem was sung by the best."
In a recent statement made to Variety, Knight commented on the controversy around Colin Kaepernick kneeling, stating:
"I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice. 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, February 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."
"No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and cannot be made so by anyone speaking it. I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us."