The NFL reportedly approached Rihanna and Pink about performing at the Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show, but both singers turned the league down.
A source told Us Weekly in a story published Thursday, “The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta. They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
The insider was referring to the protests former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started in 2016, when he refused to stand for The Star-Spangled Banner at games as a way of protesting police brutality and racial inequality in the U.S.
Kaepernick no longer plays on a team. He filed a grievance against the league and its owners in 2017, accusing them of colluding to keep him out of the NFL.
Entertainment Tonight confirmed the league wanted the Work singer to perform at the Super Bowl.
“Rihanna was the front-runner,” a source told the site. “The offer and exposure would have been great for Rihanna as she’s planning a new album and tour but she stuck to what’s right in her eyes.”
A second source told ET the NFL also reached out to Pink, who sang the national anthem at Super Bowl
LII in February, but the negotiations “took so long” that she moved on.
Maroon 5 is now slated to provide the musical entertainment at the 2019 championship game. According to published reports, Cardi B may be a special guest.
Super Bowl LIII kicks off on Feb. 3, 2019.