During Demi-Lovato‘s striking national anthem performance at Super Bowl LIV over the weekend, video circulated on social media of Jay-Z and Beyoncé (along with daughter Blue Ivy) remaining in their seats. Now that the event is in our rearview mirrors, Jay-Z has revealed to the public that, contrary to what some had suggested, they weren’t protesting. They were, instead, analyzing the show from artists’ perspectives.
Jay-Z conducted a Q&A session at Columbia University yesterday (February 4) where he was asked if, by him sitting down, was he “trying to convey a signal.” His response immediately put that idea — logical given his past public support for Colin Kaepernick — to bed. “It actually wasn’t. Sorry,” he said, as reported by TMZ, before explaining that his brain went into “artist mode” as he began to break down the show from this perspective.”So I’m really just looking at the show. Did the mic start? Was it too low to start? “
Another thing that he revealed was that he didn’t realize that they’d been sitting down for the entire performance until it was too late. Jay was wrapped up in a conversation with Bey about how Lovato possibly feels performing at the Super Bowl, since Bey’s “performed at the Super Bowl before, and I haven’t.” He went further, saying that there wasn’t a need for “silent protest” thanks to the diverse set of halftime performers that included Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, and more, which is “making the biggest, loudest protest of all.”
Looking at Roc Nation’s partnership with the NFL, it’s clear that Jay-Z didn’t need to protest. Last August, the NFL unveiled the partnership which, along with including social justice efforts for the community, gave Jay-Z the power to advise the league on artists for major performances like the Super Bowl.
Check out Jay-Z’s full comments on the situation over on TMZ.