With the annual Super Bowl happening on Sunday evening whether you like it or not, director Ava DuVernay is taking a firm stance about how she feels about the football extravaganza: She doesn’t want anything to do with it, and it’s all because of the NFL. “I will not be a spectator, viewer or supporter of the Super Bowl today in protest of the NFL’s racist treatment of Colin Kaepernick and its ongoing disregard for the health and well-being of all its players,” DuVernay tweeted. “To watch the game is to compromise my beliefs. It’s not worth it.” Many artists, like Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Pink, are reported to have shared DuVernay’s ideology by turning down the opportunity to perform at the halftime show, while Cardi B confirmed she turned down a significant amount of money to take the gig out of solidarity with Kaepernick.
A few hours later, Kaepernick responded in gratitude to DeVernay.
Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Outkast’s Big Boi (and maybe SpongeBob) will be sharing the halftime show stage, with the band and Scott only agreeing to perform if the NFL gave a sizable donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Dream Corps, respectively. In the lead-up to the game, Maroon 5 refused to attend the customary Super Bowl press conference, with frontman Adam Levine later commenting that he “absolutely, 100 percent” weighed the options of performing. “No one thought about it more than I did,” he said. “I spoke to many people; most importantly though, I silenced all the noise and listened to myself, and made my decision about how I felt.”