Jay-Z Says He Wasn’t Trying to Send Message by Sitting Down During National Anthem at 2020 Super Bowl
In a video TMZ uploaded on Tuesday (Feb. 4) night, the Roc Nation founder revealed why he didn't rise for the National Anthem during a Q&A at Columbia University in New York City. During the event, Hov was asked if his decision to not stand up was meant to send some kind of signal. Hov didn't waste any time explaining that that wasn't the case.
"It actually wasn't. Sorry," Hov replied. "It really wasn't. What happened was... it was not premeditated at all."
The veteran rapper, who recently partnered up with the NFL to oversee all the entertainment aspects of the season and the Super Bowl, as well as help spearhead the league's social justice initiatives, explained that when he and his wife Beyonce arrived at their seats they had immediately gone into artist mode. After they both acknowledged Demi Lovato's potential nervousness before her performance, Hov said that he immediately started thinking of the quality of the show.
“What happened was, we got there, we were sitting, and now the show’s about to start," Jay-Z explained. "My wife was with me and so she says to me, ‘I know this feeling right here.’ Like, she’s super-nervous because she’s performed at Super Bowls before. So we get there and we immediately jump into artist mode… now I’m really just looking at the show. Did the mic start? Was it too low to start?”
Later on, Hov also said that there was no need to do any silent protest. The 4:44 rapper believes that the diverse line-up he chose for the big game, including the Halftime show with Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, was all a part of the "biggest protest of all."
Jay's response came two days after Colin Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback whom many believe was blackballed from the NFL because he kneeled during the national anthem in protest of police brutality three years ago, appeared to question Jay-Z's decision to sit down during the national anthem at the Super Bowl. Kaepernick did so by reposting an Instagram story that pointed to Jay-Z's previous statement about being past the need to kneel to protest.
"I think we've passed kneeling," Jay explained after a reporter asked him if he would kneel or stand in August 2019. "I think it's time to go to actionable items."
Watch Jay-Z explain the reason he sat down during the national anthem below.
See 30 of the Most Shocking Hip-Hop Album Covers of the 2010s