Beyoncé, Jay-Z Sit Out the National Anthem, But Here She is in 2013 Singing a Different Tune

Photo Credit: Pixabay, https://pixabay.com/illustrations/usa-flag-america-american-1127885/

 

As Demi Lovato delivered her powerful performance of the national anthem before the start of the Super Bowl, Beyoncé, Jay-Z and their daughter, Blue Ivy, remained seated. Both are big supporters of ex-49ers player Colin Kaepernick, who began the practice of kneeling during the pre-game national anthem to protest violence against blacks by police officers.

This move was especially disturbing because just last August, Jay-Z’s entertainment company, Roc Nation, entered into a highly profitable partnership with the NFL, an organization with a very patriotic fan base. (He was widely criticized for this move, particularly by those in Kaepernick’s orbit.)

It was also surprising because Beyoncé herself has sung the national anthem at the Super Bowl and has performed two halftime shows.

But until police brutality against people of color ends, they will continue to disrespect the country which has given them both so much.

In December 2017, Beyoncé presented Kaepernick with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award at the Sports Illustrated award ceremony. This award honors an athlete “who uses their platform to further change.” She told the crowd:

It feels so good to be here on such a special night of appreciation. Thank you, Colin Kaepernick. Thank you for your selfless heart and your conviction. Thank you for your personal sacrifice. Colin took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion — only hope to change the world for the better, to change perception, to change the way we treated each other, especially people of color. We are still waiting for the world to catch up.

We’re still waiting for the world to catch up. It’s been said that racism is so American, that when we protest racism, some assume we are protesting America. So, let’s be very clear. Colin has always been very respectful of the individuals who selflessly serve and protect our country and our communities and our families. His message is solely focused on social injustice for historically disenfranchised people. Let’s not get that mistaken.

I also find it hypocritical. In 2013, Beyoncé called upon reporters to stand while she sang the national anthem.

She had been widely criticized after allegedly lipsyncing the national anthem during President Obama’s 2013 inauguration. At a press conference ahead of her forthcoming Super Bowl halftime show, the singer addressed the controversy.

The Washington Post reported:

She broke her silence Thursday on the National Anthem lip-sync controversy that has dogged her since the inauguration — and she broke it in style.

At a press conference in New Orleans to preview her Super Bowl halftime show, the superstar began with an unusual request of reporters: “Would you guys mind standing?”

And then she sang the National Anthem — live, unaccompanied, and loud.

“Any questions?” she asked.

Aside from the fact that she’d found a very creative way to avoid the issue of whether or not she had lip-synced her performance at the inauguration, she asked reporters to rise before she sang.

I feel strongly about this issue. In fact, I began blogging following a very heated on-line debate over players “taking a kneel” in the fall of 2017. With two sons (at the time) in the military, the sight of overpaid NFL players kneeling during the national anthem infuriated me and still does. Clearly, they have the right to do as they please, but I think it’s the ultimate show of disrespect to a nation that has provided all of us with so much.