A planned protest against Beyonce Knowles over her controversial Super Bowl performance turned out to be a flop in New York on Tuesday (16Feb16) as fans of the R&B diva came out in droves to support her.
The former Destiny's Child star sparked controversy with her half-time appearance at the big football game earlier this month (07Feb16), when she appeared to give a 'black power' salute while backing dancers paraded around in leather outfits similar to the uniforms worn by members of the U.S. Black Panther movement in the 1960s.
She added to the furore by referencing police brutality and the recent spate of police shootings in the U.S. in the video for her new song, Formation, which was released on the eve of the Super Bowl.
The live set and the promo prompted pro-police activists to suggest the singer was attempting a "race-baiting stunt" and serving up "a slap in the face" to cops by supporting a "hate group".
The campaigners announced plans to march on the headquarters of the National Football League (NFL) in New York, in an effort to urge sports executives to take a harder line on "hate speech and racism" at the Super Bowl.
Beyonce fans quickly mobilised a counter demonstration and dressed up as Black Panther activists to join the pro-police protesters at the NFL offices on Tuesday.
The turn-out was impressive, while only five anti-Beyonce protesters showed up, according to The New York Post.
Among the small group was a man called Ariel Kohane, who told the newspaper that he believes Beyonce is "racist" and is "fuelling hate".
"She is promoting violence against police," he added.
He then addressed the poor turn-out, stating, "Some of us are surprised that there are only a couple of us out here today... It's a business day. Also, the weather; the rain turned a lot of people away."
Kohane and the other demonstrators were heavily outnumbered by the dozens of Beyonce fans who came out to support the star, many of them holding signs which read: "Get information" from her Formation song, and "Pro black doesn’t mean anti white".
According to The New York Post, the Beyonce fans held out in the rain until all their rival protesters had left the area.