HOV is clearing the air. The hip-hop icon and his wife, Beyoncé, drew a lot of criticism and praise over the weekend for not standing for the national anthem during Super Bowl LIV in Miami, Florida, on Sunday.
TMZ obtained images of Jay-Z and Beyoncé sitting with their daughter, Blue Ivy, during Demi Lovato’s performance of the national anthem. The outlet has since received footage of HOV stating that he didn’t have any intention of making a political statement but was actually watching the festivities.
Jay-Z took part in a Q&A session on Tuesday at Columbia University in New York and was asked if he was trying to send a message by sitting down.
“It actually wasn’t,” he shared. “Sorry.”
He explained he was observing the show, which he helped produce as part of the Roc Nation deal in place with the NFL.
“We get there, and we immediately jump into artist mode,” he explained. “…So now I’m just really looking at the show. Did the mics start? Was it too low to start?”
He said he wanted to make sure fans at home could “really feel the music.”
He added that he was focused on Yolanda Adams’ performing “America the Beautiful,” as he was trying to critique what camera angles were captured.
“The whole time, we’re sitting there, we’re talking about the performance, and right after that, Demi comes out, and we’re talking about how beautiful she looked and how she sounds and what she’s going through in her life for her to be on the stage, we’re so proud of her,” he said.
He said he and Beyoncé would never use their daughter to make a statement.
“It just happened,” he said. “I didn’t have to make a silent protest. If you look at the stage, the artists that we chose, Colombian [Shakira], Puerto Rican JLo … we were making the biggest loudest protest of all.”
Colin Kaepernick Calls Out Jay-Z and Beyoncé for Sitting
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who famously took a knee during the national anthem taking a stance against police brutality, chimed via his Instagram Stories. “I thought we were ‘past kneeling’ tho,” he wrote across a screenshot of a TMZ Sports article about the couple’s conduct at the game. It was coupled with a thinking emoji.
Kaepernick was referencing the August 2019 interview in which Jay-Z attempted to justify his partnership with the National Football League.
Social activist Shaun King said he feels Jay-Z played Kaepernick and shared his stance on the All The Smoke Podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on November 9, 2019.
“First off, I love Jay-Z,” said King.
I love him, and just like you, I have admired him for a very long time. I have also been behind closed doors and seem him support families and causes that people never knew about. He raps about generosity and stuff he does in private, and I have seen that, and I think in any other circumstance had Colin Kaepernick not been currently banned from the league, if I saw Jay-Z say he is going to be some type of partner here, and if the NFL to Colin Kaepernick never happened, I would have been like, oh yeah. But we live in real life Colin Kaepernick is currently and actively banned from this league. And Colin has never spoken out about Jay-Z, and that is not his way, but I know many of us, who are close to Colin felt like, I felt Jay-Z played Colin directly.