A video of the power couple taking a seat at Miami Gardens’ Hard Rock stadium, along with their daughter, Blue Ivy created an instant stir as many in the public presumed that the two were doing so as a sign of protest. What as the symbolic gesture referencing? The most common guess was a show of solidarity with former NFL player, Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the National Anthem back in 2016 to protest police brutality.
But this would run counter to comments Jay-Z made in the New York Times on Feb. 1 in which he elaborated on Roc Nation’s partnership with the NFL and said of Kaepernick: “No one is saying he hasn’t been done wrong: 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?’”
At an appearance at Columbia University on Tuesday (Feb. 4), Jay-Z clarified that he was, in fact, not protesting at all. Said Jay: “It actually wasn’t. Sorry. It really wasn’t. What happened was it was not premeditated at all.”
Jay-Z, who is a co-producer of the halftime show, said that he and Beyonce were just in “artist mode,” making sure everything went smoothly as they watched Yolanda Adams’ performance of “America the Beautiful” and Demi Lovato sing the national anthem.
jay talking about his and beyoncé reactions to demi singing the national anthem 🥺 pic.twitter.com/6fk0UzRbAh
— 𝐋𝐞𝐱𝐢 ❀ (@manicmoonIight) February 5, 2020
“The whole time we’re sitting there, we’re talking about the performance,” he explained. “Then right after that, Demi comes out, and we’re talking about how beautiful she looks and how she sounds and what she’s gone through in her life for her to be on the stage.”
The 50-year-old business mogul went on to note that if he and Beyonce wanted to make a protest, they would not include their eight-year-old daughter and that Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s performance was enough of a statement in itself.
“I didn’t have to make a silent protest,” he continued. “If you look at the stage, the artists, that we chose, Colombian and Puerto Rican J. Lo, we were making a louder stance… We were making the biggest loudest protest of all,” he said.
Jay-Z’s partnership with NFL got criticism when he first signed on back in August because of his previous support for Kaepernick. The former quarterback has not been signed to a team since he opted out of his contract with the 49ers back in 2017.