Rapper Cardi B said she turned down an offer to perform during the Super Bowl halftime show so she could ‘stand behind’ former NFL player Colin Kaepernick and his protests against the treatment of people of colour.
The performer said she had “mixed feelings” about being offered the chance to perform during Sunday’s Super Bowl in Atlanta, the Associated Press reported.
Cardi B told the AP that she was conflicted because her husband, rapper Offset, loves to watch football, but said she would sacrifice the money and fame to “stand behind” Kaepernick.
“My husband, he loves football. His kids play football. It’s really hard for him. …He really wants to go to the Super Bowl, but he can’t go to the Super Bowl, because he’s got to stand for something,” said Cardi B.
“You have to sacrifice that,” she added. “I got to sacrifice a lot of money to perform. But there’s a man who sacrificed his job for us, so we got to stand behind him.”
Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, was the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.
He was released from the team when the 2016-17 season ended and has remained a free agent.
Cardi B vowed last year not to take the stage until Kaepernick was re-signed to a team.
The Grammy-winning artist has said she will host a party this weekend and will appear in a Super Bowl commercial.
“I hear people saying like ‘Oh, y’all are saying all this stuff about the Super Bowl, but you’re doing all these parties,’” she told the news outlet. “And it’s like, well, if the NFL could benefit off from us, then I’m going to benefit off y’all. Y’all make the most money off our people. Why am I not going to take advantage of y’all and take money from y’all too? Because of y’all, we are getting these parties. OK, thank you.”
Singers Rihanna and Pink reportedly both turned down offers to perform during the Super Bowl.
Cardi B said she hopes protests in support of Kaepernick might spark positive change, but acknowledged that it might be difficult under the current administration.
“We got an arrogant president, and the racism right now has been reborn,” Cardi B told the AP. “They feel mighty brave nowadays. When [former President] Obama was around, I just feel like they were praying on the day when his eight years was over. A lot of jealousy.”
“When they see (how) the choices they made due to racism has affected the country, that’s when things are going to start changing,” she added. “Right now, they don’t want to accept that their decision has affected the country.”