Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording AcademyAfter Jay-Z and Beyoncé were criticized for sitting during the national anthem at the Super Bowl, the Roc Nation CEO explains they weren’t making a political statement.
“It actually wasn’t. Sorry,” Hova said during a Q&A session Tuesday at Columbia University in New York City, according to Page Six.
He said that if he’d wanted to make a political statement, “I’d tell you … I’d say, ‘Yes, that’s what I’ve done.’ I think people know that about me,” Jay told students and faculty from Columbia’s African American and African Diaspora Studies Department.
Many people thought Jay-Z was showing solidarity with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who hasn’t played pro football since he took a knee in 2016 during the national anthem in protest against racial injustice.
Jay-Z was making his debut as the entertainment producer for the Super Bowl, and he says he made a statement about diversity with the halftime show starring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.
“I didn’t have to make a silent protest … If you look at the stage and the artists that we chose — Colombian [Shakira] and Puerto Rican J.Lo — we were making the loudest statement.”
The 22-time Grammy winner says he sat with Beyoncé because he was focused on making sure the pre-game music, and the presentation of the anthem, sung by Demi Lovato, was just right.
“I’m really just looking at the show. Did the mic start? Was it too low to start?…So the whole time we’re sitting there, we’re talking about the performance,” Jay insisted. “And then right after that, Demi comes out and we’re talking about how beautiful she looked, and how she sounds and what she’s going through, and her life — for her to be on the stage, we were so proud of her.”
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.