Maroon 5 cancels press conference ahead of Super Bowl LIII after fan backlash

Following backlash from fans upset that Colin Kaepernick hasn’t found work as a quarterback, Super Bowl LIII halftime act Maroon 5 will not participate in the usual pre-game press conference, the NFL has said. 

Maroon 5, fronted by Adam Levine, will not hold a press conference on the Wednesday before the game in Atlanta as halftime acts traditionally do, the NFL said in a statement on Tuesday.

‘Maroon 5 has been working hard on a Pepsi Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show that will meet and exceed the standards of this event,’ the statement reads. 

‘As it is about music, the artists will let their show do the talking as they prepare to take the stage this Sunday,’ it added.

The statement said that rather than the traditional press conference, the band and the league will continue a ‘social and digital media rollout’ ahead of Sunday night’s game.

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Maroon 5 (above), fronted by Adam Levine (second from left), will not hold a press conference on the Wednesday before the game in Atlanta as halftime acts traditionally do

Maroon 5 (above), fronted by Adam Levine (second from left), will not hold a press conference on the Wednesday before the game in Atlanta as halftime acts traditionally do

Maroon 5 (above), fronted by Adam Levine (second from left), will not hold a press conference on the Wednesday before the game in Atlanta as halftime acts traditionally do

It follows a Change.org petition from angry fans demanding that Maroon 5 drop out of the Super Bowl appearance in solidarity with Kaepernick, who has sued the league after no team hired him when he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017.

Kaepernick famously began kneeling during the national anthem before games to protest what he called police brutality and racial discrimination.

More than 111,000 had signed the petition as of Tuesday night.   

Other artists, including Rihanna and Pink, have reportedly turned down offers to perform during this year’s halftime in solidarity with Kaepernick.

Jay-Z alluded to his feelings in a recent song that he declined to perform at the Super Bowl, and Amy Schumer refused to appear in a TV ad during the game.

Cardi B said she won’t take the Super Bowl halftime stage until Kaepernick gets a job, but she will perform at a downtown concert next week.

Kaepernick (above) has sued the league because no team hired him after he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017

Kaepernick (above) has sued the league because no team hired him after he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017

Kaepernick (above) has sued the league because no team hired him after he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017

Maroon 5 will be joined by Atlanta-based rapper Big Boi and Travis Scott during the halftime performance. Gladys Knight will sing the national anthem. 

Perhaps in response to the backlash, Maroon 5 on Tuesday announced a joint charity donation with Interscope Records and the NFL of $500,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, PJ Morton, Maroon 5’s keyboardist, said he felt the heat of his band’s decision to perform at the Super Bowl.

‘This is definitely a controversial year, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do my whole life. As musician it’s the biggest stage you could ever play,’ he said.

‘Our job as musicians is to provide a service and make people feel good, and I think that’s going to be our mission – just to have a good time and do what we do,’ he added. ‘I’m excited to play on that stage, man. I watched halftime shows my whole life. I want to be there.’ 

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