After months of speculation, insinuation, and very public hand-wringing, the guests for the Super Bowl LIII halftime show have been confirmed. Travis Scott and Big Boi will join Maroon 5 on the field at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Arena on Sunday, February 3.
Maroon 5 were already confirmed as headliners before yesterday's announcement, but they were struggling to find anyone to join them on stage. Rihanna, Cardi B, JAY-Z, and Adele all turned down the chance to guest, each reportedly citing the NFL's treatment of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who remains unemployed after protesting police brutality and systemic racism.
Scott and the NFL will together give $500,000 to Dream Corps, a "social justice accelerator" founded by Van Jones, and a source close to the rapper told Billboard that Scott wouldn't have signed up to the performance had that donation not been agreed. "I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in," Scott said in a statement. "I know being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire. So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation. I am proud to support Dream Corps and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change."
That hasn't stopped a host of public figures from questioning the move. Meek Mill and Michael B. Jordan were among the first to criticize the rapper, though The Rev. Al Sharpton was the most blunt. "I think anyone that goes into the halftime show is in effect directly violating those that want to raise the question that the NFL should come to terms with what they have done, and continue to do, to Colin Kaepernick and those that protest on criminal justice issues," he said.
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