The NFL on Sunday ended months of uncertainty by officially announcing Maroon 5 and the rappers Big Boi and Travis Scott as the performers for this year’s Super Bowl halftime show.
Typically one of the most fiercely sought gigs in music, the Super Bowl has this year been the subject of boycott and protest. Numerous acts have turned down the NFL in support of Colin Kaepernick and other players who have knelt during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice.
This year’s Super Bowl will be broadcast from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta by CBS on 3 February.
Maroon 5 had been the widely reported act since September, but the NFL did not confirm the band as its headliner until Sunday. The league said Maroon 5 would be joined by Big Boi, the Atlanta-based rapper from Outkast, and Scott.
Gerald Griggs, vice-president of the Atlanta chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, has said the NAACP asked performers who have signed up to reconsider their participation.
More than 84,000 have signed an online petition urging Maroon 5 to withdraw “until the league changes their policy and support players’ constitutional right to protest”.
Billboard reported that Scott, who reportedly signed on in December, only agreed to perform if the NFL made a joint donation to an organization fighting for social justice. With the NFL, Scott made a $500,000 donation to Van Jones’ Dream Corps.
The NFL said if hip-hop ever got its own “Rap Mount Rushmore,” Big Boi would definitely have a place on it as Atlanta’s “foremost wordsmith” and “funkiest gentleman.”
The league also said “Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi join an esteemed list of recent halftime acts” including Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Katy Perry and Missy Elliott.
Image: Maroon 5