On Thursday (January 17th) it was announced that Gladys Knight would be performing the National Anthem at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.
READ: Rihanna Turned Down Super Bowl in Support of Colin Kaepernick
The topic that still lingers over the upcoming Super Bowl is Colin Kaepernick: the quarterback who famously protested police brutality by kneeling during the National Anthem throughout the 2016 season. (He hasn’t played in the NFL since.)
READ: Nessa Responds to Report That Travis Scott Talked to Colin Kaepernick Before Accepting Super Bowl Gig: “They Need to Stop Lying”
Variety asked Knight about the NFL’s treatment of Kaepernick. Knight released a statement to publication saying:
I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things and they are police violence and injustice. It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.
Knight went on to write that she hopes her rendition of the national anthem will unite people, like the Predator meme. (OK she didn’t say that last part:)
I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good. I have been in the forefront of this battle longer than most of those voicing their opinions to win the right to sing our country’s Anthem on a stage as large as the Super Bowl LIII.
No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and cannot be made so by anyone speaking it. I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us.
Earlier in the week, a report said that Travis Scott reached out to Kaepernick before taking the Super Bowl gig. This is something that Kap’s girlfriend Nessa disputed.
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