Jay-Z and Beyonce insist sitting during national anthem wasn't protest
Jay-Z insists he and Beyoncé didn’t plan a Super Bowl protest but got so caught up in Demi Lovato’s performance that they forgot to stand
- The 50-year-old rap mogul was asked about the incident during a Columbia University Q&A as part of a lecture series on Tuesday night
- He insisted that he was actually more concerned with his role as a producer of the halftime show as he insisted that it was actually Jennifer Lopez and Shakira who made the biggest statements of all with their critically-acclaimed performance
- The musician claimed they were so wrapped up in Demi Lovato’s national anthem performance Sunday at the Super Bowl in Miami that they forgot to stand
- The superstars and their daughter Blue Ivy were filmed remaining in their seats as Demi Lovato took to the field
- Instead of standing, Beyonce could be seen in her chair bopping to Lovato’s performance while others around her were on their feet
- The partnership was viewed by some as a betrayal of Colin Kaepernick and his Black Lives Matter protest
Jay-Z has insisted that he and Beyonce sitting through the National Anthem at the Super Bowl was not a protest.
The 50-year-old rap mogul was asked about the incident during a Columbia University Q&A as part of a lecture series on Tuesday night.
He insisted that he was actually more concerned with his role as a producer of the halftime show as he insisted that it was actually Jennifer Lopez and Shakira who made the biggest statements of all with their critically-acclaimed performance.
Jay said: ‘I didn’t have to make a silent protest … If you look at the stage and the artists that we chose — Colombian [Shakira] and Puerto Rican J.Lo — we were making the loudest statement.
Interesting: Jay-Z, 50, has insisted that he and Beyonce, 38, sitting through the National Anthem at the Super Bowl was not a protest
‘And we had … a commercial running [on] social injustice during the Super Bowl … Given the context, I didn’t have to make a silent protest.’
Jay-Z wasn’t merely part of the audience at the Super Bowl — he and his Roc Nation company helped produce Shakira and Jennifer Lopez’s acclaimed halftime performance.
This came after he and his 38-year-old megastar wife were spotted sitting down during the Super Bowl’s national anthem despite the rapper defending his controversial partnership with the NFL over with Colin Kaepernick kneeling saga.
The superstars and their daughter Blue Ivy were filmed remaining in their seats as Demi Lovato took to the field to sing the national anthem ahead of kick-off between San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs in Miami on Sunday.
Was it a protest? It’s not known why the superstar couple remained seated during the national anthem, especially as Jay-Z has a lucrative partnership with the NFL
Family values: The couple’s eight-year-old daughter Blue Ivy was with them in the VIP section and took photos and videos with her phone during the anthem
Instead of standing, Beyonce could be seen in her chair bopping to Lovato’s performance while others around her were on their feet.
In August, Jay-Z’s company Roc Nation signed a lucrative partnership with the NFL to ‘advise on selecting artists for major NFL performances like the Super Bowl.’
The agreement stipulated that Roc Nation would also help lead the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative, which advocates for ‘education and economic advancement; police and community relations; and criminal justice reform.’.
However, at his Columbia appearance he downplayed an political motive when the moderators asked if sitting was ‘meant to convey a signal?’
‘It actually wasn’t — sorry,’ he replied. The rapper said if he’d wanted to make a statement, ‘I’d tell you … I’d say, “Yes, that’s what I’ve done.” I think people know that about me.
‘What happened was, we got there, we were sitting, and now the show’s about to start. My wife was with me and so she says to me, “I know this feeling right here. Like, she’s super-nervous because she’s performed at Super Bowls before. I haven’t,’ he joked, inspiring laughter from the audience.
Inspired: Jay said at Columbia that he and Beyoncé remained seated because they were so invested in Demi Lovato’s performance that they forgot to stand; pictured with daughter Blue Ivy and Meek Mill
Been there, done that: ‘My wife was with me and so she says to me, “I know this feeling right here… she’s super-nervous because she’s performed at Super Bowls before. I haven’t,’ he joked
‘So we get there and we immediately jump into artist mode … now I’m really just looking at the show. Did the mic start? Was it too low to start? … I had to explain to them [that] as an artist, if you don’t feel the music, you can’t really reach that level.’
It wasn’t until after Demi finished singing the anthem that the couple realized they’d made a scene.
‘So the whole time we’re sitting there, we’re talking about the performance, and then 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, and her life — for her to be on the stage, we were so proud of her. And then it finished and then my phone rang. And it was like, “You know you didn’t …” I’m like, “What?”‘
Though the superstar couple would have been comfortable making a political statement, he said they wouldn’t have intentionally involve Blue in a publicity storm.
‘Blue was right next to us, we wouldn’t do that to Blue and put her in that position. And if anyone who knows Blue … If we told her we were going to do something like that, you would have seen her attacking me 100 times,’ he explained.
‘She’s the kid that gets in the car and closes the door and says, “Are we there yet, daddy?” So she would say, “What time? Are we doing it? Are we doing it now? It’s 7:05, daddy … It’s 7:06.”‘
Leaving her out: The superstar musicians didn’t realize the publicity they’d attracted for sitting, but he said he wouldn’t knowingly put his daughter Blue in such a controversial position
Representatives for Jay-Z and Beyoncé didn’t immediately reply to emails seeking additional comment.
Jay-Z announced his Roc Nation company had entered a partnership with the NFL for events and social activism last year.
The rapper received immediate backlash since he had become one of the biggest supporters of Colin Kaepernick, who sparked a fissure in the NFL when he decided to kneel when the national anthem was played before games to protest the killings of blacks by police officers.
Jay-Z’s response at that time was that he still supports protesting, kneeling and Kaepernick, but he’s also interested in working with the league to make substantial changes.
His Roc Nation deal, which was signed in August, allows Jay-Z to help select artists for major NFL performances such as at the Super Bowl and play a role in the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative.
This year’s super Bowl halftime performers Jennifer Lopez and Shakira are both clients of Roc Nation.
Turncoat? Jay-Z’s Roc Nation signed an agreement with the NFL last August and he’s been criticized for betraying Colin Kaepernick and his Black Lives Matter protest, pictured 2016
Defending himself against accusations he was betraying Colin Kaepernick’s Black Lives Matter ‘take a knee’ protest by partnering with the NFL, Jay-Z commented last August: ‘I think we’re past kneeling’.
For those supporting Kaepernick, Jay-Z’s deal raised eyebrows with some seeing it as a betrayal of Kaepernick’s Black Lives Matter protest.
In 2016, the football pro started kneeling during the national anthem to call attention to racial injustice and police brutality.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has not played in the NFL since becoming a free agent in 2017 and has argued he’s been effectively exiled from the league.
Kaepernick appeared to let his feelings be known via an Instagram story on Sunday referencing Jay-Z’s comment about moving past the kneeling.
He shared a news story about Jay-Z and Beyonce not standing and wrote: ‘I thought we were past kneeling though?’
The reaction to the couple not standing was mixed with some suggesting it was a gesture of support towards Kaepernick. Others were quick to slam Beyonce and Jay-Z was being ‘disrespectful’.
It came a day after Jay-Z defended his partnership with the NFL, denying it was betrayal of Kaepernick.
‘No one is saying he hasn’t been done wrong,’ Jay-Z told the New York Times in an interview published Saturday.
‘He was done wrong. I would understand if it was three months ago. But it was three years ago and someone needs to say, ‘What do we do now -because people are still dying?”
‘We are two adult men who disagree on the tactic but are marching for the same cause.’
Regarding the negative press the deal attracted, Jay-Z said: ‘As long as real people are being hurt and marginalized and losing family members, then yes, I can take a couple rounds of negative press.’
Stunning view: Beyonce and Jay-Z enjoyed prime seats for the game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs at the Hard Rock Stadium
Dancing on her own: Blue Ivy had a great time walking on the field before kick off
Seeing green: The Lemonade hitmaker shared photos of her outfit on Instagram, going bra-less under a green belted jacket and wearing a stunning diamond choker
Style icon: She wore the jacket with matching trousers and added pointy toe white heels and dramatic white shades
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