Unfortunately for the Adam Levine-fronted pop band, not many people are pleased with the news. But it’s not only because most of them dislike their music.
Maroon 5’s decision to involve themselves with the Super Bowl sparked the brunt of the controversy after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, was wrongfully exiled from the league.
Instead of standing during the national anthem, Kaepernick kneeled; as an act of protest. He began this quiet yet powerful fight against police brutality and racial inequity back in 2016.
The NFL decided to exile the quarterback in response to his protests. Because of this, a number of musicians showed their support by refusing the halftime slot and instead opted to boycott the NFL altogether.
Maroon 5 were strongly urged not to perform, even before the announcement was made. A petition was crafted back in November with hopes to have the band drop out from the halftime show.
The petition requests that Maroon 5 reject their supposed offer to perform because of the NFL’s policy changes in response to Kaepernick’s acts of protest.
It was created by a North Carolina resident by the name of Vic Oyedeji. He reached out to Levine in hopes that the Moves Like Jagger band would use its power and influence as popular celebrities to take a stand against racial inequality.
“Kaepernick has sacrificed his NFL career to call out violent racism in America, and players across the country have followed his lead,” he wrote. “Rihanna, Jay-Z, Amy Schumer and others have refused to work with the NFL.”
In May, the NFL decided that all players must now “stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem,” or their team will be fined. The league announced the anthem policy in May, following nearly two years of protests started by Kaepernick.
As of this writing, the petition has more than 85,000 signatures.
Another problem many people had with Maroon 5 performing at this year’s Super Bowl is that they are from California rather than Atlanta — which is where the game is scheduled to take place.
Many believe it’s important to feature acts native to the game’s city or state.
There was some form of solace, however, when Atlanta’s very own Big Boi was announced as a guest act along with the Astroworld rapper, Travis Scott.
‘I know with being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire,” he said in a statement. So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation. I am proud to support Dream Corps and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change.”
While many Super Bowl fans managed to ignore the controversy and the lack of appropriate Atlantan representation, they still couldn’t get by the thought of watching an entire Maroon 5 performance.
Twitter exploded with negative messages and hateful comments aimed towards Levine and co. on Monday morning.
“Man, f**k Maroon 5!” wrote a Twitter user. “Since the Super Bowl is in Atlanta, the NFL needs to try and get Outkast back together for the halftime show.”
“F**k that halftime show!” wrote another. “Bring out Kaepernick and I’ll watch!”
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Amidst the drama and debate, a majority of the internet has agreed that a performance of David Glen Eisley’s Sweet Victory, might allow Maroon 5 to redeem themselves.
The song was made popular by the animated series SpongeBob SquarePants. The song debuted in the 2001 episode, Band Geeks, in which SpongeBob and his friends form a band and perform the powerful rocker at the Super Bowl halftime show.
An online petition was created for the song to be performed at the 53rd Super Bowl to honour the legacy of the late-SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg, who tragically passed away at the age of 57 in late 2018.
The Super Bowl will air on Feb. 3, 2019. The final teams are currently undecided.