JAY Z & Beyoncé chose to remain seated during Demi Lovato’s performance of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, and it appears they did so in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
UPDATE (2/4/20, 8:14 p.m. ET): JAY-Z wasn’t protesting the national anthem at the Super Bowl — he was working! That’s what the rapper and record executive told a professor at Columbia University on Feb. 4, two days after the big game in Miami, according to a video obtained by TMZ. The professor asked if JAY-Z remained seated during Demi Lovato’s performance to “convey a signal,” to which JAY-Z replied, “It actually wasn’t. Sorry.” Instead, JAY-Z and his wife, Beyoncé, had “jumped into artist mode” and were observing the technical aspects of the show. “I’m really just looking at the show. The mics start, was it too low to start?” JAY-Z said, explaining their thought process. That’s because his entertainment company, Roc Nation, now plays a major role in selecting the artists who perform at big NFL games, thanks to a new partnership between Roc Nation and the NFL that was announced in Aug. 2019.
ORIGINAL: The San Francisco 49ers are taking on the Kansas City Chiefs at the Super Bowl in Miami and it has been filled with insane moments, but of course, the celebs caught our eye. Notably, JAY-Z and Beyoncé decided to stay in their VIP seats during Demi Lovato‘s performance of The National Anthem. Blue Ivy also joined her parents in sitting during the song, and it appears the family did so in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, who famously took a knee on the sidelines during the anthem to bring awareness to the Black Lives Matter Movement. JAY-Z sparked criticism when his Roc Nation partnered with the NFL this year, with many believing he had “betrayed” Kaepernick — who believes he was “blacklisted” by the league due to his political stance.
Ahead of the Super Bowl, JAY-Z addressed those comments, telling the New York Times, “As long as real people are being hurt and marginalized and losing family members, then yes, I can take a couple rounds of negative press.” He continued, “No one is saying he hasn’t been done wrong. He was done wrong. I would understand if it was three months ago. But it was three years ago and someone needs to say, ‘What do we do now — because people are still dying?’”
“We are two adult men who disagree on the tactic but are marching for the same cause,” he explained.
When it comes to the game itself, some commentators favored Kansas City and believed their high-speed offensive attack would dominate the game. The Chiefs are in their first Super Bowl in 50 years and lead by last year’s MVP, quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Should the Chiefs win, Mahomes will become the youngest player to win both an NFL MVP award and a Super Bowl title, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith. He’d also join Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger as the only quarterbacks to win the Lombardi Trophy before their 25th birthday.
Other sports commentators were rooting for the 49ers, who have five Super Bowl titles. With quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo having an incredibly strong year after coming back from an ACL injury, Raheem Mostert also leads the team with rushing yards. Plus, the 49ers defense is dangerous with rookie defensive lineman Nick Bosa and cornerback Richard Sherman.
49ers Assistant coach Katie Sowers, who will be the first female coach at the Super Bowl, spoke to HL in an EXCLUSIVE interview ahead of the game about eliminating gender bias in the NFL. “The way I view my life is that I follow what I’m passionate about day by day… I think by doing that, I hopefully open doors for others to do the same,” Sowers said. “My role is to try and just get people to stop and think about what their bias is and these gender norms society has taught them.”
“I truly believe that I have a way of connecting with players and allowing players to feel comfortable and vulnerable. And, that’s not because I’m a woman. There’s other male coaches who can do that as well, but I feel as though that’s my strength,” she said of her coaching style. “I think that that helps put players at ease, especially when you have rookies coming in, because this is a whole new world for them. They’re scared to death and we all look at these guys like they’re superheroes, but they’re human beings. They’re trying to make a future for themselves. It’s a scary time for them. So, sometimes, having someone that you can relate to or talk to and open up to is very valuable.”