Yesterday soul legend Gladys Knight announced that she will sing the National Anthem at this year’s Super Bowl in Atlanta, GA. She also released a video reminding everyone how she’s been a civil rights activist for decades. Of course, since “offense” isn’t just for football games, this caused many folks to throw side-eyes her way because of the ongoing war within the NFL regarding the National Anthem and quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the anthem in protest against police brutality. The struggle continues within the organization, so Gladys decided not to remain silent about the elephant in the room.
I had a feeling something like this would happen, because there are still a lot of people who want nothing to do with the NFL until Kap is reinstated and allowed to play again. Then you have the other half who are people that decorate their homes in MAGA hats and don’t understand the protest at all. And now here’s Gladys caught right in the middle without the Pips to protect her. Not that she needs their protection because, according to Variety, Gladys immediately addressed the controversy. However, make no mistake that she ain’t about to sing “neither one of us wants to be the first to say goodbye” to that NFL check either.
“I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice,” she wrote. “It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone. I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good — I have been in the forefront of this battle longer than most of those voicing their opinions to win the right to sing our country’s Anthem on a stage as large as the Super Bowl LIII. No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and cannot be made so by anyone speaking it. I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us.”
Did you catch that shade? I have been in the forefront of this battle longer than most of those voicing their opinions. Aunt Gladys ain’t here for the questions about her loyalty to the culture. However, I gotta admit that I had reservations about her signing up to sing the anthem only because of the controversy surrounding it within the NFL.
There’s been an issue surrounding black performers agreeing to do this year’s Super Bowl halftime show for quite some time. Rihanna famously told the NFL “Bye Bitch” but two other performers have signed up for the halftime show, Atlanta native Big Boi, and Travis Scott who will be performing with Maroon 5. Travis sat down with Kap after agreeing to perform, which was commendable. However their meeting ended with the two of them agreeing to disagree on the issue. And Kap hasn’t said anything yet about Gladys’ involvement though he did shoot this tweet out yesterday in honor of the late Muhammad Ali’s birthday.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) January 17, 2019
Hopefully it’s just a coincidence and not Kap trying to indirectly address the situation because Gladys looks like the type of memaw who’ll arrive at your house in an instant with a belt asking “Who gon’ check me boo?”