Jay-Z and Beyoncé stayed seated Sunday while Demi Lovato sang the National Anthem ahead of Super Bowl 54 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Some fans called it a woke publicity stunt.
While they weren’t the only ticket-holders choosing to sit during the performance, many on Twitter felt they were trying to make a statement of protest like Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee against police brutality, MSN News reported.
But if taking a seat during the national anthem was a political statement on the couple’s part, the timing was odd. JAY-Z partnered in August with the NFL to collaborate on entertainment events including the Super Bowl halftime show.
The Jay-Z-NFL partnership announcement followed more than two years of conflict after football players led by Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem to protest systemic racism. Kaepernick accused the NFL and its owners of colluding to keep him out of the league. In February 2019 Kaepernick reached a settlement with the NFL.
At the time of the partnership, people expressed disappointment on social media that Jay-Z agreed to partner with the NFL without including Kaepernick.
“I think we’re past kneeling,” Jay-Z said during a press conference in defense of the NFL partnership at the time. “I think it’s time for action.”
In Jamarlin Martin’s documentary, “A Genius Leaves The Hood,” producer Clark Kent said you can “sell the people anything,” once they believe.
“Yes, Jay-Z is capable of a corporate crack deal vs Black America,” Martin tweeted. “Jay-Z & Beyoncé may as well stand up for the national anthem, you already took the ‘pacification’ check. Corny & Calculated.”
Kaepernick shared a screenshot on Instagram posted by another user who seemed to imply that Jay-Z was being hypocritical for sitting during the anthem after partnering with the NFL, given how the NFL handled the National Anthem protests.
“I thought we were past kneeling tho,” iheartmiko posted.
“This is supposed to make Jay look woke and down with the cause and make us forget that he is really an NFL sellout,” Kermit77 posted in the comments section on Lipstick Alley. “I think Jay and Bey are playing yall and the media.”
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Some on social media accused the media of unfairly targeting the couple for sitting while other people in attendance appeared also to be seated during the anthem:
“So did the lady in front of them… no one’s calling her out…” a Twitter user said. “I was sitting too,” another tweeted. “Good. That song is just a damn song. We all sit for it at home,” a third person tweeted.
Conservative Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren said the failure to stand was “despicable”, describing Jay-Z as a “former crack dealer” and suggesting the couple should “try another country”.
Another person tweeted, “Stream the real national anthem” with a link to YouTube video of Beyoncé singing “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing“.
“Predictably, none of the NFL narratives created by Jay-Z cult fans turned out to be true,” tweeted Martin, founder and CEO of The Moguldom Nation.
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