Rihanna reportedly declined an invitation to headline the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime Show to stand in solidarity with controversial American football star Colin Kaepernick.
Sources told Us Weekly that the Bajan singer turned down the offer to perform in front of American football fans at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia in February (19) to show her support for Kaepernick.
"The NFL and CBS (TV executives) really wanted Rihanna to be next year's performer in Atlanta," the insider said. "They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn't agree with the NFL's stance."
The quarterback sparked controversy in the U.S. in 2016 when he became the first National Football League (NFL) star to kneel during the national anthem before games as a protest against racial injustice and police brutality. He has not played for the NFL since early 2017 and is currently suing the organisation, accusing them of colluding to keep him off the field.
A second source told Entertainment Tonight: "Rihanna was the front-runner for next year's Super Bowl Halftime Show... CBS and the NFL reached out to Rihanna first, who after thinking about the offer, decided to pass due to the NFL and the situation regarding players kneeling.
"The offer and exposure would have been great for Rihanna as she's planning a new album and tour but she stuck to what's right in her eyes."
A separate source told the website that NFL officials approached Pink early on as well, but because the negotiations took so long, she decided to move on. The What About Us singer performed the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in February.
It has been reported that Maroon 5 will headline the 2019 Halftime Show with the assistance of their Girls Like You collaborator Cardi B, but this is yet to be confirmed.
The Super Bowl will air live on CBS on 3 February 2019.