Knight faces criticism for agreeing to sing at Super Bowl

FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

Knight
STEFANIE KEENAN/GETTY IMAGES FOR MICHAEL KORS/TNS
Gladys Knight issued a statement after she was blasted for accepting the Super Bowl gig.

Legendary singer Gladys Knight will sing the national anthem at this year’s Super Bowl, which is Feb. 3 in Atlanta, her hometown.

Knight has being criticized for supporters of quarterback Colin Kaepernick who they feel has been blackballed from the NFL because of his sideline protests against police abuse of African Americans by “taking a knee.”

In response, Knight has issued this statement: “I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice,” she wrote. 

“It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”

Social media has criticized Knight for the performance. Among those upset is Najee Ali, director of Project Islamic HOPE.

Ali wrote an open letter to Knight that stated that calls on the Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer to Sister Gladys, you issued a statement that in part states:

‘Stop buck dancing’

“Sister Gladys, the fact that you admit to being a long-time civil rights activist doesn’t make you exempt for being called out if you start cooning and selling your people out in your old age.

“Your life experiences in the movement should make you know better. NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown another long-time champion of civil rights was also held accountable by our people when he began meeting with Donald Trump and stating his support for the president whose policies have been a disaster for low income and middle class African-Americans.

“No one is above reproach or exemption because of being elderly and past contributions in the civil rights movements. We called for Brown to stop buck dancing and cooning for white people and now were calling for you to stop it.’’

She later stated: “Kaepernick put millions on the line and sacrificed his career, so people of color could live in peace, without the threat of state-sanctioned murder. When the NFL or any corporation punishes a man for standing against police brutality then that means the league and that company or corporation is in favor and a supporter of police brutality!

‘Aid to the NFL’

The letter also stated: “The reality is this isn’t about you singing at the Super Bowl. It’s about you giving cover comfort and aid to the NFL who as a corporation have ignored all the unjust police murders of black people, racial profiling, police abuse, and the violation of our civil rights that Kaepernick put into the national spotlight.

This is about Anthony A.J. Weber, Ezell Ford, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and other unarmed black people who were gunned down by police (and a wanna-be cop). This is about Freddy Grey & corrupt police planting evidence on black people.

This is about Oscar Grant & Fruitvale Station. This is about Laquan McDonald who was killed while unarmed by several white police officers in Chicago with only one cop being convicted and sentenced to a slap on the wrist with just six years in prison for killing him.

‘No respect’

“Those that choose to continue to support the NFL boycott will be on the right side of history. Those that choose to support the NFL (Negros For Lease) have chosen to support the NFL plantation and clearly love a game more than they love their own people.

Where would the Montgomery bus boycott have been if black people did this back then? They walked miles to work for over a year. Yet here we are today benefiting from their sacrifice but unwilling to stick together on such an issue for one night.

She concluded: “I have no respect for anyone performing in the Super Bowl. Sistah Gladys, based on your civil rights laurels you boasted about, your betrayal of the movement and your own people are shocking. Just say you want the check and stop pretending you’re doing this for us.’’

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A report from EURWEB.com was used in compiling this article.

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