The NFL has been utterly craven in its response to the kneeling protest launched by quarterback Colin Kaepernick to highlight police brutality. They have clearly conspired to punish him and any others who protest by denying them the chance to play. Now it appears that some major stars are joining the protest by refusing to perform in the Super Bowl half-time show, once a much sought after gig for any entertainer.
Some of the biggest names in pop and rap, including Rihanna and Cardi B, have turned down the opportunity to appear, while one group that has reportedly been booked, the Adam Levine-fronted pop-rock act Maroon 5, is facing pressure to pull out. Rapper Travis Scott, the only performer reportedly secured to join the show, is facing pressure from hip-hop superstar Jay-Z and civil rights groups to pull out. With four weeks to go, producers of the 13-minute event are scrambling to find additional performers for what Variety last week called “music’s least wanted gig”.
Of course, I will watch neither the game nor the half-time show since I feel that evidence of rampant traumatic brain injuries has placed football on the same level as boxing, a throwback to the gladiator days when people risked their lives for the entertainment of the public.