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Rihanna explains why she refused to perform at the Super Bowl’s halftime show

In an interview with Vogue for its November issue, published Wednesday, Rihanna confirmed rumors she turned down the opportunity to perform in the Super Bowl LIII halftime show because of the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick.

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Rihanna attends the 5th annual Diamond Ball benefit gala at Cipriani Wall Street on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, in New York.

Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

In an interview with Vogue for its November issue, published Wednesday, Rihanna confirmed rumors that she turned down the opportunity to perform in the Super Bowl LIII halftime show because of the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick.

When asked if Kaepernick was the reason behind her refusal to participate in the performance, she said that it absolutely was.

“I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people,” she said. “I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”

After kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 2016 as a protest of racial injustice and police brutality, Kaepernick has not played a single game in the NFL, according to Fox. His actions led to criticism from NFL fans. President Donald Trump weighed in on the issue, too.

“In August, Jay-Z entered into a partnership with the NFL on its entertainment presentations and Inspire Change Initiative, which was created after an agreement with a coalition of players who demonstrated during the national anthem to protest social and racial injustice in the U.S.,” according to Fox News.

Jay-Z received criticism from Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid who called it disingenuous given the treatment and “blackballing” Kaepernick was subjected to.

In her interview, Rihanna also discussed her upcoming album, according to USA Today.

“I have been trying to get back into the studio,” she said. “It’s not like I can lock myself in for an extended amount of time, like I had the luxury of doing before. I know I have some very unhappy fans who don’t understand the inside bits of how it works.”

She also said that the album would be reggae-inspired, but did not give any clue as to when it would be released.