Jay-Z Responds to Backlash for Sitting Down During National Anthem: It's Not a Protest

The Roc Nation founder says he and Beyonce were simply immersed in Demi Lovato's performance and were in an 'artist mode' as he started inspecting every aspect of the show.

AceShowbiz - Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles did not intend to make a political statement by sitting down the national anthem at Super Bowl LIV. The rapper has broken his silence after the couple faced backlash for remaining seated during Demi Lovato's performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" during the Sunday, February 2 big game.

The hip-hop mogul was at Columbia University on Tuesday, February 4 and was asked by a Columbia professor if his move at the football event was to "convey a signal" a.k.a. a protest toward the NFL. He quickly replied, "It actually wasn't. Sorry," as seen in a video obtained by TMZ.

He then explained that he and his wife Beyonce were simply immersed in Demi's performance. He said Bey told him she was thinking what the "Anyone" songstress must have been going through in the seconds before starting the anthem, because Beyonce has "performed at the Super Bowl before, and I haven't."

"We immediately jumped into artist mode," so he said it. He added that he started inspecting every aspect of the show. "I'm really just looking at the show. The mics start. Was it too low to start?" he claimed, as he was concerned about the audio and other things for a very good reason.

Making his point clear, Jay-Z said his action was not a "silent protest" as everyone had been speculating, because they were "making the biggest loudest protest of all" by selecting such a diverse group of artists to perform at the game.

Jay-Z and Beyonce were heavily criticized after they and their daughter Blue Ivy remained seated during the national anthem performance at the Super Bowl. Wendy Williams said, "You should've stood up" and suggested that if they "don't like out country," they can leave.

Colin Kaepernick, who started the kneeling protest, appeared to shade Jay-Z too. The former NFL star shared a screenshot of an Instagram user's post that implied the rapper was being hypocritical with his move at the Super Bowl. "I though we were 'past kneeling' tho?" read a caption on the post.

In 2019, Jay-Z signed a partnership with the NFL. Under the deal, he's tapped as the NFL's new "live music entertainment strategist," who will consult for the NFL on entertainment and co-produce the Super Bowl half-time show, while contributing to the league's Inspire Change initiative.

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