Superstar singer Rihanna turned down an invitation to perform at the 2019 Super Bowl in solidarity with protesting NFL players, according to multiple reports.
“The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta,” a source told US Weekly, which first reported the news. “They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
Rihanna, who reportedly has an album and tour in the works, declined on principle despite the potential exposure, according to another source.
“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 person close to the singer reportedly told Entertainment Weekly.
Rolling Stone said it had independently confirmed the news on Friday morning.
Fellow singer Pink, who performed the national anthem before Super Bowl LII in February, was also reportedly considered, but never reached an agreement.
Maroon 5, fronted by Adam Levine, was reportedly offered the job and accepted, though no formal announcement has been made.
Super Bowl LIII will take place in Atlanta on Feb. 3.
—Field Level Media