Rihanna has added her name to the list of celebrities standing in support of Colin Kaepernick. Recently the ‘Work’ singer has declined an offer to headline the coveted Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show, because she did not agree with the NFL’s stance on the kneeling controversy during the national anthem, or the league’s treatment of the quarterback.
Rihanna who has made a point to be aware of how ethnicity and body type affect ‘living experiences’ in her entrepreneurial ventures, including her makeup line, Fenty Beauty, which has 40 shades and her lingerie line, Savage X Fenty, which was touted as the most inclusive the New York Fashion Week (NYFW) history by including plus size and pregnant models, has joined a slew of other celebrities who also support Kaepernick, including JAY-Z, Ava DuVernay, Jenifer Lewis and John Legend.
Kaepernick made waves in headlines all over the internet when he first knelt during the national anthem, in an attempt to bring awareness to the far too many instances of police brutality and racial injustices.
However, as the trend caught on and other players also began to take the knee during the national anthem, many criticized the action; misinterpreting it as the players being disrespectful toward the flag as well as the military.
Outrage sparked so quickly that even President Donald Trump getting involved, calling for players who knelt to be fired for the action, which then lead to the NFL establishing the ‘kneeling ban’.
The former quarter back has not had an easy time following his stance and in spite of his amazing abilities and talents on the field, has failed to be picked up by an NFL team since he opted out of his contract with the San Fancisco 49ers in March 2017.
Since then he has filed a collusion suit against the NFL and team owners claiming that they conspired to shelf him and keep him out of the leagues over his protests.
In September, Kaepernick became the face of Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ campaign spreading the message that is uniquely his, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
This campaign has also seen backlash with many of Nike’s customers who are anti-Kaepernick burning their Nike gear in protest.
None of this has fazed Kaepernick and his supporters, and recently Amy Schumer has also made a call for more people to boycott the NFL and continue the protest police violence against young black men, by taking the knee during the national anthem.
In an instagram post, Schumer wrote “I wonder why more white players aren’t kneeling. Once you witness the truly deep inequality and endless racism people of color face in our country, not to mention the police brutality and murders. Why not kneel next to your brothers? Otherwise how are you not complicit?”
Kaepernick’s former teammate, Eric Reid, returned to the field this season with the Carolina Panthers and continued to protest during the anthem. Reid said he would continue to fight for the rights of African-Americans and other people of color.
Rihanna has reportedly made plans to work with the activist athlete in a ‘fun and powerful way’ that may see Kaepernick featured in a new music video addressing social justice reform.