Rihanna previously let her fans know that they shouldn’t expect to see her performing at next year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show, and in Vogue‘s November issue, the singer admitted that she was offered the chance to perform, but turned it down. Rihanna declined in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who caused a stir among football fans when he began to kneel in protest of police brutality and racism during the National Anthem at his games in 2016.
“I couldn’t dare do that,” she explained. “For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.” It was recently confirmed that Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will be taking the stage at this year’s Super Bowl.
While getting deeper into politics, Rihanna later doubled down on her criticisms of Donald Trump when the subject of the recent mass shooting in El Paso, TX, was brought up. “People are being murdered by war weapons that they legally purchase. This is just not normal,” she said. “That should never, ever be normal. And the fact that it’s classified as something different because of the color of their skin? It’s a slap in the face. It’s completely racist. Put an Arab man with that same weapon in that same Walmart and there is no way that Trump would sit there and address it publicly as a mental health problem. The most mentally ill human being in America right now seems to be the president.”
After a gunman in El Paso killed 22 people and injured dozens of others in an act of domestic terrorism in August, Rihanna made headlines when she called out President Trump’s response to the incident. “Um… Donald, you spelt ‘terrorism’ wrong,” she wrote on Instagram. The gunman, who is currently awaiting trial on a capital murder charge, claimed to have been targeting immigrants in his attack.
As an immigrant herself, Rihanna also spoke about the fear she experiences on behalf of other immigrants and what she would say to her younger fans. “What do you say? What can you say? It’s gonna get better? I almost feel sick to my stomach,” she continued. “I don’t even believe this is happening in real life. In front of my eyes. In front of the world. It’s not even hidden. This is blatant.”
Rihanna’s had her hand in a variety of buckets lately. Since the release of her last album, ANTI, in 2016, she’s given her music a backseat to build a multimillion dollar beauty company, a size-inclusive lingerie brand, and a luxury fashion line with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. She also announced on Oct. 7 that she’s releasing a 500-plus-page visual autobiography later this month.
Head over to Vogue.com to read Rihanna’s full interview.
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