Jay-Z is simply trying to clear the air.
Shortly after Super Bowl LIV started between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, a video was posted showing Jay-Z and his wife, Beyoncé, seated during the national anthem, which was sung by Demi Lovato.
Jay-Z visited Columbia University in New York for a Q&A session when he was asked whether his sitting down was meant to send a message.
“It actually wasn’t,” he stated plainly. “Sorry.”
“It really wasn’t. … It was not premeditated at all.”
He went on to state he was busy observing the show, which he had a hand in producing thanks to a deal between his company Roc Nation and the NFL.
“So we get there, and we immediately jump into artist mode,” he said. “So I’m looking at the show. ‘Did our mic start? Was it too low to start?’ … ‘Is it too many speakers on the floor?’ … So the whole time we’re sitting there and we’re talking about the performance. And then right after that, Demi comes out, and we’re talking about how beautiful she looked and how she sound[ed], and what she’s going through in her life for her to be on the stage and we’re so proud of her.”
Jay-Z added that he would never have pulled a protest stunt in the presence of his and Beyoncé’s daughter, Blue Ivy, who was seated next to them at the time. “We wouldn’t do that to Blue and put her in that position,” he said, adding later, “If anyone knows Blue … if we told her we were gonna do something like that, you would have seen her tapping me a hundred times. She’s the kid that gets in the car and closes the door and says, ‘We there yet, Daddy?’ So she would say, ‘What time? Are we doing it?’”
The hip-hop icon later pointed out the diverse array of talent he helped assemble for the big game, including Jennifer Lopez, Shakira.
“We were making the biggest, loudest protest of all,” he continued. “Given the context, I didn’t have to make a silent protest.”
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