Many people theorized JAY-Z, Beyoncé, and their daughter Blue Ivy were engaging in a silent protest during Demi Lovato’s performance of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” The family was spotted in their seats throughout the national anthem, leading some to believe they were acting in support of Colin Kaepernick—the former 49ers player who was allegedly blackballed from the league due to his on-field protests.
Though JAY has expressed support for Kaepernick throughout the years, the mogul claims he and his wife were not engaging in any form of protest at Super Bowl LIV—he was just too preoccupied with work. JAY explained this during a recent Q&A at Columbia University on Tuesday, when he was asked if he and his family were “trying to convey a signal” by remaining seated.
“It actually wasn’t. Sorry,” he said, prompted laughter from the audience.
JAY said that he and Bey were talking about how Lovato must have felt as she took the field to perform the National Anthem. He said he then got into “artist mode” and his mind became preoccupied with the show. (As part of his new deal with the NFL, JAY helps select artists for the league’s major events, such as the Super Bowl.)
“… So I’m really just looking at the show. Did the mic start? Was it too low to start? … Is there too many speakers on the floor?” he continued.
JAY said he and Bey were so caught up in discussing the event that he didn’t realize they had remained seated throughout the “Star-Spangled Banner.” He also noted that he would never stage that kind of political protest with Blue because he wouldn’t want to “put her in the kind of position.”
“And if anyone knows Blue … If we told her we were going to do something like that, you would’ve seen her tapping me a hundred times …” he explained. “She would say, ‘What time? Are we doing it? Are we doing now? Are we doing it now?'”
JAY went on to say he didn’t need to do a silent protest because the artists he selected for the game were so diverse he felt they were making “the loudest protest of all.”
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