While many fans loved her performance at the big game on Sunday, others have criticized Rihanna for taking a drastic U-turn.
The Feb 12th event marked her first performance in over five years and was a spectacle to behold. The nine-time Grammy winner kept her promise to represent all eras of her musical career, calling the halftime show a celebration of her entire catalog during an earlier press conference at Apple Music.
The 34-year-old Barbadian singer put on an amazing performance in front of a worldwide audience of millions at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, where the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs were competing.
This marks her first appearance on live television since 2018, when she teamed up with DJ Khaled to sing “Wild Thoughts” at the Grammy Awards.
While most of her fans were happy to see RiRi back in form, many people questioned her principles for not staying true to her words.
In February 2019, the NFL approached the singer to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. However, she turned down the offer and said she wouldn’t do that in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick,
According to The Guardian, “In 2016, quarterback Kaepernick started to kneel for the pre-game national anthem in protest at racial injustice in the United States. He has been out of the NFL since leaving the San Francisco 49ers in 2017, and he later settled a case with the league in which he alleged he had been blackballed by team owners for his protests.”
And Rihanna boycotted Super Bowl because of her support for him.
“Absolutely,” she told Vogue in October 2019. “I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”
And her decision was hailed by many fans and fellow celebrities.
“That is feminine power my friends, that is feminine power! Good for her!” comedian Kathy Griffin said back in 2019.
Meanwhile, Amy Schumer wrote, “Wouldn’t it be so cool if @adamlevine and @maroon5 stepped down too? What do you guys think?”
Now after her 2023 performance at the Super Bowl, many people questioned Rihanna and wondered what made her change her decision.
“Rihanna turned down performing in Super Bowl 2019 in solidarity with Kaepernick. So….wassup? What changed?” one fan asked on Twitter.
“@rihanna remember when you turned down performing at the Super Bowl in 2019 for dumbass reasons??? But 4 years later it’s all good, Colin Kaepernick hasn’t been relevant…..Better pay now????” a second wrote.
“Can’t wait to see @rihanna perform the halftime show and remind us all that the 2019 boycotts over Colin Kaepernick were largely just about being on the right side of #TheCurrentThinking,” a third said.
“Rihanna is pretty much what I expected of her: out of shape, limited vocal range, generally dull sounding. Better at marketing herself than performing. BTW, how’s that Kaepernick boycott going?” another wrote.
“Rihanna is the biggest sellout of the past 5 years, I support Kaepernick in 2019 so I decline to do the SB halftime show, funny how people change up, I’m not being woke, she’s showing how much she actually cared about Kaepernick being blacklisted, not at all!” commented another.
Let us know your views in the comments.