Roger Waters Asks Maroon 5 to ‘Take a Knee’ at Super Bowl
The former Pink Floyd bassist issued an open letter, stating, “My colleagues Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi are performing during the halftime show at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday. I call upon them to 'take a knee' onstage in full sight. I call upon them to do it in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, to do it for every child shot to death on these mean streets, to do it for every bereaved mother and father and brother and sister.”
Waters posted video of himself and his band taking a knee onstage in an effort to drive home his point. The moment occurred after a concert in Harford, Conn., in September 2017, approximately one year after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem in protest of racial injustice and police brutality toward people of color.
Kaepernick hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2016. He and his lawyer have accused the league of collusion as a way of keeping his protests away from the NFL spotlight.
Waters has been a strong supporter of Kaepernick, referring to the socially conscious athlete as an “American hero.” As part of his statement, Waters also voiced support for a Change.org petition asking Maroon 5 to drop out of the halftime show. It has amassed more than 112,000 signatures so far.
“My mother used to say to me, ‘In any situation, there is nearly always a right thing to do, just do it,'” Waters proclaimed. “So there you go, my brothers, you are faced with a choice, I’m not saying it will be easy, all the president’s men, all the huffers and puffers, will be royally pissed off, but, $#@%’em, I call upon you to do it because it’s the right thing to do and because somewhere inside you know it.”
This is just the latest in a long list of controversies surrounding this year’s Super Bowl halftime performance. In October, Rihanna reportedly turned down an offer to perform during the NFL’s biggest game in response to the league’s handling of the Kaepernick situation. Comedian Amy Schumer previously urged Maroon 5 to pull out of the gig, suggesting the band “stand up for [their] brothers and sisters of color.”
In alleged response to the criticism, Maroon 5, the group's label and the NFL have each made a $500,000 donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Rapper Travis Scott reportedly agreed to take part in the performance only if the NFL made a donation of $500,000 to Van Jones’ Dream Corps, which supports social-justice initiatives.