JAY-Z Says Sitting During the National Anthem Wasn't a Protest
Published Feb 05, 2020JAY-Z has addressed the controversy caused when he and Beyoncé decided to sit through the national anthem at the Super Bowl, and he said it was not intended as a protest.
During a Q&A at Columbia University last night (February 4), Jay said, "It actually wasn't, sorry. It really wasn't. I'd tell you… I'd say, 'Yes, that's what I've done'. I think people know that about me."
He went on to say that his preferred method of protest was by using his role as a "live music entertainment strategist" to put diverse acts up on stage during the halftime show.
"I didn't have to make a silent protest," he told the audience. "If you look at the stage and the artists that we chose — Colombian Shakira and Puerto Rican J.Lo — we were making the loudest statement."
JAY-Z also noted that he was partially responsible for a commercial addressing social injustice that ran during the game.
So why did the couple sit through the anthem? JAY-Z said that the reason they remained seated was due to Beyoncé's vicarious nerves for anthem singer Demi Lovato, as well as their technical analysis of the sound and appreciation for the performance.
"So the whole time we're sitting there, 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 sounds and what she's going through, and her life — for her to be on the stage, we were so proud of her," he explained. "And then it finished and then my phone rang. And it was like, 'You know you didn't …' I'm like, 'What?'"
So, at least according to Jay, it was all just a misunderstanding.
Watch footage of Jay's explanation here via TMZ.