Travis Scott recently took the stage to perform during the halftime of this year’s Superbowl, on February 3, 2019. He received some backlash for doing so, particularly from the black community. This is because many people feel as though he should have turned down the NFL’s offer after the Colin Kaepernick controversy.
Back in 2016, former San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the National Anthem, as a way to protest police brutality and social injustice in America. Kaepernick was criticized for kneeling during the National Anthem and many argued that his decision to do so was disrespectful to soldiers and veterans, since the American flag is closely associated with the military.
However, Kaepernick took the time to think about the proper way to protest. He wanted to send a powerful message while still maintaining respect for the military. He decided to kneel rather than sit during the anthem, after having a meaningful discussion with former Seahawks player and Green Beret Nate Boyer. Boyer encouraged Kaepernick to kneel, stating that kneeling is a sign of respect, as it is often done by soldiers at a fallen brother’s grave and by green berets on duty.
“Ultimately, it’s to bring awareness. There are a lot of things that are going on right now that are unjust. People aren’t being held accountable for it, and that’s something that needs to change. This country stands for freedom, liberty and justice for all, and it’s not happening for all right now,” Kaepernick said in an interview after his first time kneeling at an NFL game back in 2016.
Since then, Kaepernick stopped playing football professionally in March of 2017. He has filed a grievance against the NFL for conspiring to not hire him. It is the NFL’s treatment of Kaepernick that has caused the league to lose support from people nationwide. The NFL’s refusal to support Kaepernick suggests that the league does not care about issues such as police brutality and social injustice like it should, issues that primarily affect the black community.
Other big artists, such as Cardi B, Jay-Z and Rihanna, were also asked to do the Superbowl’s halftime performance this year but turned the opportunity down. They all refused to perform at this year’s Superbowl in support of Kaepernick. Unfortunately, it seems as though Travis Scott cared more about benefitting from the exposure of the Superbowl than he did about showing his support for Kaepernick and the cause. Hence, many people’s disapproval of his decision to perform.
As a black artist himself, Travis Scott should have shown solidarity with the black community and the fight against police brutality and social injustice. He is already an established artist with a huge fan base, meaning that added exposure from the Superbowl was not necessary. Police brutality has been on the rise and it continues to take the lives of far too many people. It has detrimental effects on the black population and community as a whole.
People with influence, such as Travis Scott, should use their platform to show support for social issues as important as the ones that Kaepernick decided to kneel for. Influence has the power to spark change, and at the very least important conversations, as Kaepernick has managed to do. It’s a shame that Travis Scott did not see the value in using his own influence to stand with Kaepernick and back the movement against police brutality and social injustice in the United States.