BY MIKE ROSENSTEIN
Sorry folks, nothing to see here.
That’s what Jay-Z is saying about his decision to sit during the national anthem before Super Bowl LIV on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Jay-Z and Beyonce, his wife, did not rise for the singing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” by Demi Lovato, as seen in video obtained by TMZ.
According to TMZ, Jay-Z was at Columbia University on Tuesday and a professor asked if he remained seated to “convey a signal.”
Jay-Z’s response? “It actually wasn’t. Sorry.”
Focused on Lovato
According to TMZ, Jay-Z and Beyoncé “immediately jumped into artist mode” when they got to their seats before kickoff and were “laser-focused” on Lovato’s rendition. Said Jay-Z, per TMZ, “I’m really just looking at the show. The mics start. Was it too low to start?”
He added, per Page Six, “So the whole time we’re sitting there, we’re talking about the performance, and then right after that, Demi [Lovato] comes out and we’re talking about how beautiful she looked, and how she sounds and what she’s going through, and her life – for her to be on the stage, we were so proud of her. And then it finished and then my phone rang. And it was like, ‘You know you didn’t …’ I’m like, ‘What?’”
Remember, in August, Jay-Z entered a partnership with the NFL to assist the league in managing some of its entertainment while also working with the league’s social justice initiatives, according to The Washington Post.
That includes Jay-Z’s agency, Roc Nation, co-producing all of the entertainment at Super Bowls, including the halftime show, which featured Jennifer Lopez and Shakira on Sunday.
Jay-Z and Beyoncé are no strangers to the Super Bowl halftime show. She performed at the shows in 2013 and 2016.
TMZ reports Jay-Z said there was no need for a “silent protest” because he was “making the biggest loudest protest of all” in his selection of artists to sing at the Super Bowl. In addition to performances by J-Lo, Shakira and Lovato, Yolanda Adams sang “America the Beautiful” before the game.
Cited Blue’s presence
According to Page Six, Jay-Z also said if he had been planning some sort of protest, he wouldn’t have done it with 8-year-old daughter Blue in the picture. “Blue was right next to us; we wouldn’t do that to Blue and put her in that position.”
According to TMZ, Jay-Z was aware that sitting for the national anthem “might spark new criticism from Colin Kaepernick supporters – some of whom took Sunday’s video as a sign he was backtracking on his ‘We’ve moved past kneeling’ remark.”
As a former minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets, Jay-Z frequently attends games and TMZ reports he “always” stands for the national anthem.