There was plenty of speculation earlier this week, after entertainment mogul Jay-Z and Beyoncé remained seated during Demi Lovato’s performance of the national anthem. But according to the rapper, it was not a “premeditated” protest.
Chief among Jay-Z’s reasons for saying he wouldn’t protest “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the Super Bowl is because he wouldn’t want to put his daughter Blue Ivy in that “position.”
In 2016, former NFL player Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem as a form of protest, calling attention to the perceived mistreatment of racial minorities in the United States. But for Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, that was apparently not his intention.
“It actually wasn’t [a protest],” he said this week during an event at Columbia University. “Sorry. It really wasn’t.”
Instead, he and Beyoncé were in “artist mode,” concentrating more on the logistics of the performances, which were orchestrated by Jay-Z’s production company Roc Nation.
“So, I’m looking at the show. ‘Did our mic start? Was it too low to start?’ … ‘Is it too many speakers on the floor?’” he explained.
Jay-Z faced criticism from some when he announced last year the partnership between Roc Nation, his company, and the NFL.
The partnership with the NFL calls on the league to commit at least 10 years and $100 million toward social just reform initiatives. Roc Nation also co-produced the halftime show Sunday.
Jay-Z, however, did agree Kaepernick was wronged by essentially being blacklisted by the NFL.
“No one is saying he hasn’t been done wrong, he was done wrong,” he said during a recent interview with The New York Times. “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?’”
While Jay-Z went on to say he disagrees with Kaepernick’s tactics, he is on board with his mission.