Artists afraid to sing at NFL

Three-time Grammy Award winner Maroon 5 has been confirmed to play the Super Bowl halftime show in Atlanta on Feb 3, 2019.
Three-time Grammy Award winner Maroon 5 has been confirmed to play the Super Bowl halftime show in Atlanta on Feb 3, 2019.PHOTO: ST FILE

NEW YORK • Many artists reportedly turned down the chance to perform at the upcoming Super Bowl half-time show for fear of alienating their fans.

The National Football League behind the Super Bowl has been slammed for taking action against players who kneeled during the national anthem to protest against racial injustice.

On Sunday, the NFL ended months of uncertainty by naming three-time Grammy Award winner Maroon 5 as the headliner for the half-time event in Atlanta on Feb 3.

Rapper Travis Scott will perform with the band while Atlanta native Big Boi will be the host.

Maroon 5, whose participation had been speculated for months, had been lobbied to pull out.

An online petition, at change.org, had nearly 85,000 signatures as of Sunday night. The petition reads in part: "Until the league changes its policy and supports players' constitutional right to protest, no artists should agree to work with the NFL."

Scott also announced that he and the NFL are making a joint US$500,000 (S$677,000) donation to social justice group Dream Corps.

According to multiple reports, Scott told the NFL he would not perform without it first agreeing to the donation.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2019, with the headline 'Artists afraid to sing at NFL'. Print Edition | Subscribe