The band Maroon 5 accepted the job to be the headlining performer at the 2019 Super Bowl and, along with the gig, came instant backlash. Social media blew up with opinions that Maroon 5 should have declined the offer, in support of Colin Kaepernick, who is currently locked in a legal battle with the NFL, according to Esquire. Kaepernick is known for taking a knee during “The National Anthem”, in protest against police brutality.
Recently, Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton talked to People about his opinions on the controversy and the band’s decision to stand their ground. Morton explained, “I think there are plenty of people—a lot of the players, to be honest—who support Kap and also do their job for the NFL. I think we’re doing the same thing. We can support being against police brutality against black and brown people and be in support of being able to peacefully protest and still do our jobs. We just want to have a good time and entertain people while understanding the important issues that are at hand.”
Maroon 5 Super Bowl Controversy Petition
Amid the controversy, a petition was posted on Change.org, urging Maroon 5 to drop out of the Super Bowl. In the petition, it states that Rihanna was offered the gig, but turned it down. The petition reads, “Rihanna has reportedly turned down the opportunity to perform in front of over 100 million people at the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show. Why? She supports Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who has been exiled from the NFL because of his decision to kneel during the national anthem … Maroon 5 has made music over the years featuring artists from all genres, including Rihanna, Cardi B and Kendrick Lamar — all of whom have publicly supported Kaepernick in his decision to protest the violent racism sweeping the United States. Maroon 5 must do the same.”
For their performance at the 2019 Super Bowl, Maroon 5 will be joined by rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi. According to USA Today, when talking about Big Boi and Scott’s participation in Halftime, Levine said, “This is the show that’s gonna have the biggest hip-hop presence that there’s ever been on the show. I can’t look back and find that to have been the case before. So, (Travis) is it. He’s the man right now and he comes in hot.”
Adam Levine Expected Super Bowl Controversy
Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine also weighed in on the controversy, saying that he and his bandmates expected the uproar. According to USA Today, Levine also said that he’d like to move on from all the drama and focus on the music. Levine further stated that he wants the band’s performance to honor people of color and those who feel that their voices are not heard. Levine confirmed to Entertainment Tonight, “They will be heard – that’s all I want to say because I don’t want to spoil anything.”
Each year, ahead of the big game, the headlining artist(s) participate in a press conference, but Maroon 5 opted to not appear. When this decision was made, the NFL released the following statement, “Maroon 5 has been working hard on a Pepsi Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show that will meet and exceed the standards of this event. As it is about music, the artists will let their show do the talking as they prepare to take the stage this Sunday.”
In addition to headlining the Super Bowl, Adam Levine is also gearing up for another season of The Voice, on which he plays a coach.