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Maroon 5 continues to face social justice controversy for playing Super Bowl show

January 31, 2019

Maybe there are not as many people calling for Maroon 5 to boycott the Super Bowl halftime show anymore, but now the weird drama surrounding this year’s halftime act has moved to whether the band would be available to the press.

The NFL canceled Maroon 5′s press conference Tuesday, which every halftime act traditionally does during Super Bowl week, saying that the band wants “their show (to) do the talking.”

But everyone else thought the decision had to do with the initial controversy the band was dragged into Rihanna and Cardi B both reportedly turned down offers to play the show in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, who still does not have an NFL job.

Someone began a Change.org petition for Maroon 5 to follow in the others’ footsteps and boycott, and it was delivered to Maroon 5′s talent agency with thousands of signatures collected.

When Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked Wednesday why the halftime show press conference was canceled, he chuckled and said, “I wasn’t expecting that one,” then launched into a convoluted answer.

“When we have looked at how we do things around the Super Bowl that includes press conferences, that includes announcements we have all looked at how the world is changing. For us, and particularly for our artists in this case, one of the things they really wanted to do was be able to use new opportunities that we all have, through social media and other platforms, to be able to reach their fans directly, tease the show a little bit, make sure they understand the inside of what’s happening.

“And I think both the NFL, Pepsi who’s our sponsor of that, and our artists are very excited about that. We think it’s innovative, we think it’s great for our fans and we support that. As we look forward to the future there may be more changes like that.”

It isn’t the case that no member of Maroon 5 has commented publicly on the controversy. PJ Morton, who is black, told People two weeks ago he felt the band could be against police brutality and still play the show.

“You can get bogged down by those things,” Morton said. “We’re not focusing on the negative now [while] being aware, being open, and definitely not ignoring the voices. But we’re definitely not focusing on the things that don’t help, that are counter-productive. We’re blocking out the noise. We’re just doing what we do. We look to have a good time.”

Maroon 5 will perform along with rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi this Sunday at halftime.

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