The halftime show is a big reason to watch the Super Bowl for some viewers, but the coveted gig has more recently been tainted by controversy.
This year’s halftime performers — pop band Maroon 5, rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi — have received criticism for agreeing to perform, despite the NFL’s stance toward former quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the National Anthem. Artists including Rihanna and Cardi B reportedly turned down the gig in support of Kaepernick. Maroon 5, joined by the NFL and Interscope Records, announced a $500,000 donation to Big Brothers and Sisters of America in advance of their performance. Two weeks ago, Travis Scott also made a donation to Dreams Corp, a social justice non-profit.
In an effort to avoid critics, the NFL canceled a press conference with the musicians that had been scheduled for Thursday. The NFL said in a statement:
“Maroon 5 has been working hard on a Pepsi Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show that will meet and exceed the standards of this event. As it is about music, the artists will let their show do the talking as they prepare to take the stage this Sunday.”
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