CBS Sports Officially Cuts Rihanna From Thursday Night Football

Last week, after the NFL spectacularly bungled its handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal, CBS Sports opted to cut a pre-taped segment with Rihanna singing the hook from Jay Z’s “Run This Town” from its Thursday Night Football broadcast. Producers said they were looking to cast a sober tone while analyzing “as big a story as has faced the NFL,” but some speculated that Rihanna’s song was removed due to her own personal history as a victim of domestic violence. Earlier today, Rihanna responded with a tweet suggesting that the NFL was being shady by removing “Run This Town” from last week’s broadcast and planning to reinsert it this week.

Now the AP reports that CBS and Rihanna are parting ways for good. The network issued a statement that they’re “moving in a different direction” with new theme music, which is a shame because “Run This Town” makes really good football pregame music. Oh well, just one more super-ugly incident to discourage people from caring about the NFL.

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UPDATE: It sounds like Rihanna never even signed on for any special involvement with Thursday Night Football. Rather, CBS licensed “Run This Town,” then Roc Nation pulled the plug when CBS rubbed Rihanna the wrong way. Here’s TMZ’s report:

Rihanna’s rep tells TMZ, “Due to the misuse and misrepresentation of Rihanna’s name and participation in connection to CBS TNF, CBS was not allowed to license and utilize the song ‘Run This Town.’ Roc Nation made the decision to not grant the song’s usage.”

Translation: Because her name was used to promote the show, she felt she then had the right to block the production.

Rihanna also made it clear on social media Tuesday … she is also angry that CBS yanked the production and insinuated it was because she was the victim of domestic violence.

CBS’s plan was to use the Jay Z song along with a voiceover by Don Cheadle that would be customized for each match up — but CBS said today the song will NOT be used.

[Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images.]

Tags: Rihanna