‘I wasn’t protesting. I was working’ says Jay-Z
Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Blue Ivy sat during the recitation of the National Anthem at the 54th Super Bowl and people assumed this was a form of silent protest.
But Jigga has said this isn’t so. Jay-Z was called out and accused of betraying his people when he decided to collaborate with the NFL despite the fact the NFL player Colin Kaepernick still doesn’t have a job because he “took a knee” during the recitation of the National Anthem to protest police brutality directed towards Black people.
At the time, Jay-Z responded by saying it was past the time for kneeling and it was time to take action. He said partnering with the NFL is him taking action and added that he and Colin Kaepernick were “marching for the same cause.” However, on Sunday night, at the Super Bowl LIV, while others stood during the recitation of the National Anthem, Jay-Z and his family sat. People thought it was a form of silent protest but Jay-Z has said it wasn’t.
Jay was at Columbia University Tuesday and addressed the video. A Columbia professor asked him if he remained seated to “convey a signal,” and Jay quickly replied, “It actually wasn’t. Sorry.” He said Beyonce told him she was thinking what Demi Lovato must have been going through in the seconds before starting the Anthem, because, as Jay put it, Beyonce has “performed at the Super Bowl before, and I haven’t.” Explaining what happened, Jay said they got to their seats and were laser-focused on Demi’s performance, but from a business standpoint. “We immediately jumped into artist mode,” he said, adding, “I’m really just looking at the show. The mics start. Was it too low to start?…”.
Jay-Z – whose deal with the NFL means he is producing all the entertainment at Super Bowls, including Demi’s Anthem, Yolanda Adams singing “America the Beautiful”, and the Halftime Show with Shakira and J.Lo – said there was no need for a “silent protest” because we were “making the biggest loudest protest of all” by selecting such a diverse group of artists to perform at the game. He also joked about people thinking they had Blue Ivy in on the alleged protest. He stated there’s no way their 8-year-old could possibly play it cool, especially on camera.