Earlier this week, Travis Scott was basically called a liar by exiled football player and current social justice beacon Colin Kaepernick and his girlfriend, radio personality Nessa, after a Variety report claimed that the “Sicko Mode” artist and Kaepernick came to a mutual understanding about Scott performing at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show.
Kaepernick has been veritably blackballed from the NFL for kneeling during the national anthem during the 2015 and 2016 NFL seasons. His silent protests sparked an unprecedented social justice movement throughout the infamously conservative football league, and made him a pariah. He’s in the process of suing the NFL and its 32 owners for allegedly colluding to keep him out of the league, and many people have boycotted the NFL in solidarity.
Cardi B was initially set to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show, but reportedly backed out and refused to perform until “[the NFL] hires(s) Colin Kaepernick back.” Rihanna also rejected the NFL’s offer to perform as her own show of solidarity with Kaepernick. Jay-Z has denied the NFL as well, and even tried to talk Travis Scott into backing out of his performance.
Apparently, Mr. Carter’s influence wasn’t enough to convince Scott not to perform on one of the biggest platforms in the world. Scott has only recently elevated to a superstar tier of hip-hop, and it appears that he’s going to use the opportunity to further entrench himself as a household name. Considering that Missy received a 1,000% increase on her streams after performing at Super Bowl XLIX, it makes sense for his bottom line.
But performing doesn’t make sense for anyone else. If Scott wants to perform at the Super Bowl that’s his prerogative, but he should also acknowledge that his decision will be regarded as a smack in the face to everyone who is boycotting the NFL for its blackballing of Kaepernick and racist stifling of players protesting systemic injustice. There’s no amount of positive PR that will help him, or Big Boi, or any other Black musician look any better in this situation.
Nessa tweeted that “there is NO mutual respect and there is NO understanding for anyone working against Kaepernick,” and basically called Travis Scott a sellout on Wednesday, echoing the sentiments of many who are already not feeling Scott for 2014 comments that insinuated Mike Brown, who was murdered in 2014 by Ferguson cop Darren Wilson, “deserved to pay for consequences he probably inflicted.” Hot 97 host Ebro evoked the comments in one of his critical tweets, and also tweeted that “Kap did not approve this bullsh*t! Get the f*ck outta here.” Kaepernick retweeted Ebro’s fiery rebuke of Scott, which is a resounding denial that he came to any sort of agreement with the artist.