Scott is now being widely accused of breaking an informal musicians’ strike in solidarity with quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been effectively driven out of professional football since he began a protest against racial injustice and police violence by taking a knee during the national anthem.
It has been widely reported that the rapper will join Adam Levine’s band on stage, but Scott is apparently coming under intense pressure not to participate, not only from Mill. Variety has reported that Jay-Z, who has angrily criticized the NFL’s boycott of Kaepernick, is also putting pressure on Scott to reconsider.
Maroon 5 have come under similar criticism from much of their fanbase and have struggled to to find a black act to take the stage with them. Variety says Cardi B, Outkast, Usher, Lauryn Hill, Nicki Minaj, Mary J. Blige, Big Boi, and Rihanna have all refused to perform, in solidarity with Kaepernick, who filed a collusion grievance against the league’s owners in 2017.
Despite being just 31, and with an impressive résumé including a Super Bowl appearance, Kaepernick was not re-signed in subsequent seasons by any NFL team.
Maroon 5 and Travis Scott are both represented by Irving Azoff’s Full Stop Management. Neither act has yet been officially confirmed, an unprecedented delay in announcing a halftime headliner. 2018 Super Bowl performer Justin Timberlake made his announcement in October 2017.
Scott is in the midst of a nationwide tour for his massive new album Astroworld, and among those in the crowd on Wednesday in L.A. were Jay-Z and Beyonce, Kanye West, and members of Migos.
Ironically, Scott recently performed on a song with Migos rapper Quavo called “Huncho Jack” that references Kaepernick: “Take a knee like the ‘Niners (Kaepernick) /Join the team, don’t divide us (join them),” the line goes.