This year’s Super Bowl halftime show is already drama-filled, and the NFL hasn’t even announced the performers. Travis Scott, who is rumored to be performing with Maroon 5, is now at the center of it, unfortunately for the rapper and father of Stormi Webster. While neither Maroon 5 nor Scott have been confirmed as this year’s halftime entertainment, there is already objection to Scott’s potential involvement from Jay Z.
Jay Z is trying to dissuade Scott from taking the job, according to sources at Variety, who also say that Scott has been chosen to perform alongside Maroon 5 and three other guests — speculated to include Cardi B and OutKast’s Big Boi. (If Scott seems like a random choice alongside Maroon 5, it’s not really considering that they both share the same management company, which has yet to confirm either artists’ involvement.)
Jay Z’s main objection to Scott playing the show is that he doesn’t think Scott should support the NFL, an institution that has been called out by Jay (and many other people) because of the way it handled former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protests during the playing of the National Anthem. As Kaepernick explained two years ago of the motivation behind his kneeling, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Apparently, because of this very reason, Rihanna and Mary J. Blige both declined invitations to perform at the Super Bowl, as Variety notes. Jay Z has done the same, too, which he rapped about on his and Beyoncé’s Everything Is Love track, “Apesh*t.” “I said no to the Super Bowl: you need me, I don’t need you,” he raps,” defending Kaepernick, who Beyoncé honored earlier this year. “Every night we in the endzone, tell the NFL we in stadiums too.” To add an exclamation mark to their support of Kaepernick, the music video for the song also has 11 people kneeling during that very line.
Interestingly, Scott has also rapped about Kaepernick, saying “Take a knee like the ‘Niners (Kaepernick)/ Join the team, don’t divide us (join them),” on the track “Huncho Jack” with Migos’ Quavo. Jay Z is likely aware of this since he and Bey attended Scott’s Astroworld show in Los Angeles last night — boosting their direct line to Scott.