Jay Z and Beyonce made headlines at the Super Bowl even though neither of them performed at the event; neither of them stood while Demi Lovato sang the National Anthem (nor did their daughter, Blue Ivy).
Page Six reports that at a Columbia University Q&A on Tuesday night, the moderator asked Jay if sitting was “meant to convey a signal?”
“It actually wasn’t — sorry,” Jay answered, adding that if he’d wanted to make a political statement, “I’d tell you … I’d say, ‘Yes, that’s what I’ve done.’ I think people know that about me.” Jay Z’s Roc Nation is a partner of the NFL. Per the NFL, the partnership is designed “to enhance the NFL’s live game experiences and to amplify the league’s social justice efforts…As part of the agreement, Roc Nation will advise on the selection of artists for major NFL performances like the Super Bowl. A major component of the partnership will be to nurture and strengthen community through football and music, including through the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative.”
But as Jay explained Tuesday night, he was simply preoccupied “What happened was, we got there, we were sitting, and now the show’s about to start. My wife was with me and so she says to me, ‘I know this feeling right here.’ Like, she’s super-nervous because she’s performed at Super Bowls before,” he said, referring to her performances at the Halftime show in 2013 and 2016.
“So we get there and we immediately jump into artist mode … now I’m really just looking at the show. Did the mic start? Was it too low to start? … I had to explain to them [that] as an artist, if you don’t feel the music, you can’t really reach that level.”
He continued, “So the whole time we’re sitting there, we’re talking about the performance, and then right after that, Demi [Lovato] 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. And then it finished and then my phone rang. And it was like, ‘You know you didn’t …’ I’m like, ‘What?’”
“I didn’t have to make a silent protest … If you look at the stage and the artists that we chose — Columbian [Shakira] and Puerto Rican J.Lo — we were making the loudest statement. Given the context, I didn’t have to make a silent protest.”