Last month, word leaked out that Travis Scott would join Maroon 5 at this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show. That news has recently been confirmed, and it’s led many, including public figures like Meek Mill and the Rev. Al Sharpton, to criticize Scott. After every NFL team refused to sign the former San Francisco 49ers quaterback Colin Kaepernick after he protested police brutality by kneeling during the National Anthem, many artists, especially artists of color, have been refusing to work with the League. And now it’s being reported that Scott spoke with Kaepernick before agreeing to the booking.
Scott only agreed to the performance under the condition that the NFL donate $500,000 to Dream Corps, a social-justice charity connected to Kim Kardashian West. (Kardashian West is the sister of Kylie Jenner, the mother of Scott’s daughter Stormi.) And now Variety reports that, according to unnamed sources, Scott and Kaepernick had at least one phone conversation.
That Variety article makes it sound like Kaepernick didn’t exactly offer Scott his blessing. Here’s what the magazine says:
A source close to Scott said that while the two did not necessarily agree, they emerged from the conversation with mutual respect and understanding, with the rapper taking the stance that everyone makes a statement in their own way and he felt that the money going toward Dream Corps, combined with the platform provided by the Super Bowl, will do some good. The source also said that Scott would not confirm his performance until the donation was locked in.
The NFL has had to scramble to book performers of color for the Super Bowl Halftime Show. For example, Cardi B, who appeared on Maroon 5’s #1 single “Girls Like You,” is not scheduled to perform, and it’s been widely reported that she refused to perform over the NFL’s treatment of Kaepernick. With that in mind, this report feels something like damage control.
This year’s Super Bowl goes down 2/3 in Atlanta. Hometown artist Big Boi, of OutKast, will also join Maroon 5 during the Halftime Show.
UPDATE: Colin Kaepernick apparently takes issue with the idea that there is a “mutual respect and understanding” between him and Travis Scott. This morning, Kaepernick’s partner, the radio host and activist Nessa, tweeted, “There is NO mutual respect and there is NO understanding for anyone working against @Kaepernick7 PERIOD. #stoplying.” Kaepernick retweeted it.
— NESSA (@nessnitty) January 16, 2019