The NFL’s hardline stance on peaceful anthem protests continues to court controversy, this time centered around halftime entertainment Maroon 5, who reportedly replaced both Rihanna and P!nk after both artists separately refused the gig in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. The band is now facing pressure to follow in the singers’ footsteps and step down from their halftime spot in support of Kaepernick and the NFL’s unconstitutional blocking of its players’ right to protest.
The pressure comes from a Change.org petition, which, at the time of this writing, is sitting pretty at around 41,000 signatures out of its intended goal of 50,000. Petition author Vic Oyedeji urges prospective signees to “join me in asking Maroon 5 to drop out of the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show” on the basis that “until the league changes their policy and support players’ constitutional right to protest, no artists should agree to work with the NFL.”
The petition references Maroon 5’s history of championing LGBT rights, along with their many musical collaborations with an array of diverse artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Cardi B, and the aforementioned Rihanna – all of whom have come out in support of Kaepernick. “If the band can take a stand for LGBT rights, they should do the same for these players,” writes Oyedji, with his petition offering the band to “a chance to stand on the right side of history.”
Maroon 5 have yet to comment on their Super Bowl halftime performance or the petition.