Though it hasn’t been confirmed, it looks like Maroon 5 will be headlining the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show. This was supposed to be a choice that wouldn’t invite controversy, in a time where national anthem protests in the NFL have dominated global headlines. However, thousands of fans have signed a petition asking Maroon 5 to step away from the halftime show to support the ongoing national anthem protests by several players.
One reason why people questioned Maroon 5 being chosen to perform is that this year’s Super Bowl will be held in Atlanta. Since Atlanta is known for hip-hop, people find it disappointing that a band like Maroon 5 will be performing instead of a rapper. Some famous rappers that have come from Atlanta include 2 Chainz, 21 Savage, Future, Gunna, and Lil Jon, along with several others.
“I personally like Maroon 5,” MPSH freshman Eduardo Sangelaji said. “It’ll be cool to have a band perform.”
Many NFL fans believe that Maroon 5 should stand by Rihanna, who rejected an offer to perform at the halftime show due to the NFL’s new rules regarding kneeling during the national anthem. Following former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality, the NFL implemented new rules requiring players to either stand for the anthem or stay in the locker room. Due to these new rules, and the fact that Kaepernick has remained unsigned since the 2017 offseason, Rihanna turned the NFL down.
Fans are asking Maroon 5 to step away from performing is because they have worked with Rihanna in the past. These fans believe that Maroon 5 should stand with Rihanna. A petition on change.org for Maroon 5 to drop out from the halftime show has received over 60,000 signatures, citing the fans’ desire for the band to “stand on the right side of history” by supporting Rihanna and the protests.
The Super Bowl has always been a night that fans will remember. Some people watch for the football, some watch for the commercials and some watch for the performances. But if the NFL can’t figure out what to do regarding the halftime show, they may have to deal with lower ratings, lower attendance and lower profits.