WASHINGTON (Circa) — The NFL and CBS, the network airing the Super Bowl this year, reportedly offered Rihanna the Super Bowl halftime gig but she declined, Us Weekly reports.
"The NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta," an insider told the publication. "They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance."
Colin Kaepernick is currently in the midst of litigation with the NFL. The former quarterback, who was the first player to kneel during the national anthem in protest of police brutality, is suing the league's owners accusing them of collusion. Kaepernick has not been signed by any team since committing to his protest.
Us Weekly reports the NFL invited Maroon 5 to the Super Bowl once she made her stance known. Cardi B is also expected to be a special guest during the show which is expected to take place in Atlanta, Georgia.
Rihanna has a previous relationship with CBS and its NFL coverage but even that turned sour. The artist was originally slated to sing the intro song to "Thursday Night Football" when the network still had rights to the primetime football package (TNF now airs on Fox). But the network pulled the intro song in week one of the 2014 NFL season after former Ravens running back Ray Rice was caught up in a domestic violence firestorm.
Rihanna was also the victim of domestic violence in 2009 during a previous relationship with singer Chris Brown. At the time, the artist was not happy with the network's decision tweeting, "CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? NO, F^%$ you! Y'all are sad for penalizing me for this."