Rihanna has harsh words for CBS after pulling performance from NFL opener

09.16.14 3 years ago

Rihanna took to Twitter early this morning (Sept. 16) to slam CBS for trying to reslot her previously scheduled, high-profile performance on Thursday Night Football.

Last week, the regular season of the NFL kicked-off with the Baltimore Ravens versus the Pittsburgh Steelers during a televised game on the network. Rihanna was all set to perform a version of the hit song “Run This Town” with narration from actor Don Cheadle.

It was only on that Monday (Sept. 8) that the Ravens terminated their $35 million contract with running back Ray Rice, after a video of him beating and knocking out his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in an elevator surfaced on TMZ. The NFL suspended Rice from the league indefinitely.

Rihanna — a victim of domestic violence at the hands of former boyfriend Chris Brown — then had her performance canceled. According to CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus, “We thought journalisticallly and from a tone standpoint, we needed to have the appropriate tone coverage.” The pre-game featured comments from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell instead.

Criticism has obviously been lodged at Goodell and the NFL for the handling of Rice's case, but also at McManus and CBS, for docking Rihanna of the opportunity.

Apparently CBS has gone back to Rihanna's camp, to offer the occasion again. Rihanna has some choice words in response.

“CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? NO, F*ck you! Y'all are sad for penalizing me for this,” she posted on Twitter. “The audacity…”

No word yet if Rihanna will take the stage after all. Thursday night's contest is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus the Atlanta Falcons. 

UPDATE: Hours after Rihanna Tweeted her displeasure, CBS Sports released a statement that they were dropping the pop singer's hit entirely. “Beginning this Thursday, we will be moving in a different direction with some elements of our Thursday Night Football open. We will be using our newly created 'Thursday Night Football' theme music to open our game broadcast.”

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