Super Bowl halftime band urged to take a knee

Let’s get this out of the way right at the start: Maroon 5 isn’t going to take a knee or do anything else that might be considered political when it performs at halftime of the Super Bowl on Sunday evening.

That’s not who Maroon 5 is. They took the money that many artists wouldn’t take in protest of the NFL blacklisting and treatment of Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who took a knee during the National Anthem to protest racial inequality in America, and found himself out of work.

But Roger Waters of Pink Floyd is going to make sure Maroon 5’s safe approach to things is going to be uncomfortable for the band, which already canceled the traditional headliner news conference for fear of being asked tough questions, although it took the safe way out of that, too, by claiming it was just too busy putting its show together. Right.

Waters released a video on Thursday urging Maroon 5 to show a little spine.

Roger Waters and band take a knee

There is a petition on Change.org/takeaknee aimed at persuading Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi to take a knee at halftime on Sunday:This is my band taking a knee at the end of a gig in Hartford, Connecticut on Sunday 24th of September 2017. We did it in solidarity with San Francisco Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s gesture of protest against the endemic racism and often deadly force meted out by police departments across this land. It was the third Sunday of Colin Kaepernick’s lock out by the NFL. The message was clear, “Shut your mouth, boy!" Next Sunday will be the 36th Sunday he has been locked out of your national game. This is not a victory for the NFL, it is a defeat, you have denied football fans everywhere the pleasure and the honor of watching one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever played the game, and you have shown your true colors. You can sit in your boardrooms and huff and puff on your cigars in your glass boxes, but your action is a poke in the eye for everything that is decent in America. Colin Kaepernick is an American hero. If the USA is to have a future, it is the Colin Kaepernicks of this world who will lead you there, in fact, it is Colin Kaepernick who is leading you now. My colleagues Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi are performing during the halftime show at the Super-bowl this coming Sunday, I call upon them to “take a knee” on stage in full sight. I call upon them to do it in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, to do it for every child shot to death on these mean streets, to do it for every bereaved mother and father and brother and sister. My mother used to say to me, “In any situation there is nearly always a right thing to do, just do it.” So, there you go my brothers, you are faced with a choice, I’m not saying it will be easy, all the Presidents men, all the huffers and puffers, will be royally pissed off, but, $#@%’em, I call upon you to do it because it’s the right thing to do and because somewhere inside you know it.LoveRoger Waters

Posted by Roger Waters on Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Here’s his open letter:

This is my band taking a knee at the end of a gig in Hartford, Connecticut on Sunday 24th of September 2017. We did it in solidarity with San Francisco Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s gesture of protest against the endemic racism and often deadly force meted out by police departments across this land.

It was the third Sunday of Colin Kaepernick’s lock out by the NFL. The message was clear, “Shut your mouth, boy!” Next Sunday will be the 36th Sunday he has been locked out of your national game. This is not a victory for the NFL, it is a defeat, you have denied football fans everywhere the pleasure and the honor of watching one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever played the game, and you have shown your true colors.

You can sit in your boardrooms and huff and puff on your cigars in your glass boxes, but your action is a poke in the eye for everything that is decent in America.

Colin Kaepernick is an American hero. If the USA is to have a future, it is the Colin Kaepernicks of this world who will lead you there, in fact, it is Colin Kaepernick who is leading you now.

My colleagues Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi are performing during the halftime show at the Super-bowl this coming Sunday, I call upon them to “take a knee” on stage in full sight. I call upon them to do it in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, to do it for every child shot to death on these mean streets, to do it for every bereaved mother and father and brother and sister.

My mother used to say to me, “In any situation there is nearly always a right thing to do, just do it.” So, there you go my brothers, you are faced with a choice, I’m not saying it will be easy, all the Presidents men, all the huffers and puffers, will be royally pissed off, but, $#@%’em, I call upon you to do it because it’s the right thing to do and because somewhere inside you know it.

Love,
Roger Waters

“I’m not in the right profession if I can’t handle a little bit of controversy,” Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine tells Entertainment Tonight. “It’s what it is. We expected it. We’d like to move on from it and speak through the music,” he said. “I silenced all the noise and listened to myself and made my decision based upon how I felt.”

“I’d like to think that people know where I stand as a human being after two decades of doing this,” Levine said. “So what I would say is, we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing, hopefully without becoming politicians, to make people understand, ‘We got you.’ ”

An immediate translation was not available.

Related: Super Bowl 2019 halftime show: Prop bet suggests a ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ song could be played by Maroon 5 (CBS)

  • Angry Jonny
    • Erik Petersen

      Its fairly obvious what Water’s real problem with Adam Levine is…

      • BReynolds33

        I’ll bite. What’s his real problem with Adam Levine?

          • BReynolds33

            I’m honestly lost. I don’t know enough about Roger Waters or Adam Levine to know what is going on here.

        • Erik Petersen

          Roger Waters is an anti-semite.

          • lusophone

            You’re anti-Semite just because you stand up for Palestinians?

          • Erik Petersen

            At his concerts Water’s likes to float an inflatable pig with the Star of David on it, and rave about the ‘power of the Jewish lobby”. He’s an anti-Semite.

          • Racial inequality or anti-semitism? That’s the choice here?

          • Erik Petersen

            It would stand to reason it’s possible to be a critic of Israel and not be an anti-Semite. To do it, you’d have to not use anti-Semitic code language. Waters is a user of anti-Semitic code language.

          • Angry Jonny

            If you’re looking for a thought provoking insight into this, follow Dan Israel on Facebook. It isn’t easy to stand by and watch fellow forward-thinking members of the community fall all over themselves defending or deflecting what is clearly a person with an antisemitic bent.

          • lusophone

            From the article that Angry Jonny posted in his comment:

            “The flying pigs are in fact a motif that has accompanied Pink Floyd’s live shows since 1977: gigantic, pig-shaped inflatables that float above the stage and audience…

            At a July 2013 concert in Belgium, the pigs were stamped with a Star of David – leading to a huge public outcry, with many people accusing Waters of anti-Semitism. On the other hand, the pigs have over the years also previously borne such diverse symbols as the hammer and sickle, the U.S. dollar sign, the McDonald’s logo and even the image of U.S. President Donald Trump.”

          • Angry Jonny

            So what are we to infer from a floating pig stamped with a Star of David?

          • lusophone

            That Waters has a problem with the policies of Israel.

          • Angry Jonny

            Oh.

          • QuietBlue

            Even if it wasn’t intentional, the juxtaposition was very tone-deaf.

          • Rob

            Gimme a diect quote from Waters in which he “raves about the power of the Jewish lobby.” Merely noting tbe non-debatable fact that the Jewish lobby is indeed powerful is not the same as raving about it.

          • Postal Customer

            You’re labeled an anti-semite the minute you question anything that Israel does, or question America’s unending support for Israel.

    • Mike

      Waters has been heroic in taking a very public stance in opposition to the creeping dictatorship in Brazil, where an open fascist was elected late last year. In fact, Waters was threatened with arrest if he didn’t shut up.

      This is in contrast to the majority of American politicians, who see dollar signs in the Bolsonaro presidency’s repression of civil rights, relaxation of environmental laws, etc.

      As for the BDS movement, it’s not anti-Semitic, just pro-Palestinian rights. There’s a difference. But the same American politicians who love Bolsonaro’s clampdown on civil liberties are now trying to infringe on the First Amendment rights of people here by outlawing the BDS movement.

      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/senate-advances-anti-bds-legislation-190129025241533.html

      • Angry Jonny

        That’s nice.

    • Jerry

      It’s kind of a weird argument that democracies can’t be oppressive to minorities. American history would tend to disagree.

      • Rob

        I think all of the Palestinians who are essentially prisoners in their own land due to Israeli policies – and who are impoverished and in a state of near-starvation because of these same policies – would agree with you.

    • king harvest

      How is that different than not performing at Sun City?

  • jon

    It’s been a while since I translated anything from “spin” but I fairly confident that the quotes in the last two paragraphs were already translated in your post in the first two paragraphs.

  • Rob

    Waters – who has been a political activist for decades – would take any band to task that decided to take money from the NFL, given the league’s de facto boycott of Colin Kaepernick; anti-Semitism ain’t got nothin’ to do with it.

    There’s also the fact that Maroon 5’s music stinks, which merely goes to show that gentiles don’t have the monopoly on making crappy music. : )

  • Erik Petersen

    If Maroon 5 is shameful for playing the halftime show and not taking a knee aren’t 250 million Americans shameful for watching it and not taking a knee? This crank white guy very much supports BLM if I do say so my damn self…. but Waters’ sensibility here represents the over-politicalization of everything by woke ninnies.

    I respect Kaepernick as well, but he wasn’t colluded out of the game. No conversations were required between NFL GMs such that there was a point he stopped getting offers.

    • // I respect Kaepernick as well, but he wasn’t colluded out of the game. No conversations were required between NFL GMs such that there was a point he stopped getting offers.

      All you have to do is look at the quarterbacks, especially starting quarterbacks, with jobs in the league in the last two years, to know what nonsense that is.

      There are people who beat up girlfriends , rape women, and murder people who were able to get jobs in the league. But speak out against racial inequality? Whoa. Too hot.

      //This crank white guy very much supports BLM i

      What does that look like, exactly?

      • Erik Petersen

        He ceased being a starter quality QB his last years in SF. Once you’re not a starter quality QB, you’re competing with literally a thousand other guys who are available to fill a backup QB slot. I’m quite sure at that point, the point hes available because he’s mediocre and understood as a ‘troublemaker’, no one signs him / they all sign anyone else. But that’s not collusion, that’s herd mentality.

        Bob I have a highly formed opinion about BLM protesting at the fair or MOA, I think its perfectly fine and legitimate, and I’m a law enforcement / cj / police state critic as a righty for all those things BLM cares about. That’s what it looks like.

        • He had a QB rating of 88.5 in his last season. That was 18th in a league of between 80-90 employed quarterbacks.

          Also, see Washington Redskins 2018.

          // the point hes available because he’s mediocre and understood as a ‘troublemaker’, no one signs him

          Right. That’s all code for “he kneels and calls attention to racial inequality”. That’s what blacklisting looks like.

          // a righty for all those things BLM cares about. That’s what it looks like.

          You didn’t really answer the question, which I was prompted to ask by your racist posting last week (which is why I closed the comments) that suggested — without any evidence — that a guy got his job on the basis of being a person of color and the standards were lowered for him because he was a person of color. And then here, as you often do, you characterized those who actually do stand with BLM, with several invectives.

          And none of that seems to fit with your assertion, which you felt compelled to make for some reason, that you stand with BLM.

          • Erik Petersen

            You talking about his last season when he had a 1-10 record?

          • Not much of a SABRmetrics guy, eh?

          • Erik Petersen

            Bob, I’m actually an advanced baseball mind (football not so much…) if I say so my damn self. Yes, I understand w/l for a pitcher or a qb for that matter is an imperfect measurement.

            After his super bowl year the 49ers went 8-8 and then in 2015 Kaep had a half year in which he was 2-6 with a QB rating of 78. Such that his rating rebounds over a larger sample size in 2016 but he’s 1-10… the judgment by those in positions to judge that that his starting days were in the rear view mirror is solid . Being a QB in the NFL is a fleeting thing, its almost the rule.

          • crystals
          • you can be employed in the NFL as a quarterback and not start. I’ve heard of backups winning superbowls.

          • Erik Petersen

            We’re not in disagreement there, unless you think there was ‘collusion’ to prevent his employment as a backup QB at that point. I don’t think collusion was necessary given group think herd mentality of NFL GMs. This matters as a legal question, maybe not so much as a practical question.

          • Erik Petersen

            Its a certainty he sacrificed his career as a well compensated backup to say what he did and do what he did.

            I was making a rather pedantic observation about the difference between collusion and group think.

    • Rob

      Step off. The fact that you refer to people speaking truth to power as “woke ninnies over-politicizing everything” gives the lie to your claim that you respect Kaepernick and support BLM.

  • John

    I learned two things that I didn’t already know from this thread:

    1) Roger Waters may or may not be anti-semitic. (I’m not ruling it out, but since he’s vocally against almost everything, I’m not necessarily convinced that he is either. I don’t think the comments section of a blog is the place to learn that.)

    2) Adam Levine is Jewish.

    What I’m wondering is if that has anything to do with this discussion? Let’s assume that some other band were playing. Let’s say it was the Rolling Stones (afaik, none of them are Jewish, I’m not going to put in the effort to find out – if they are, insert your favorite gentile band instead).

    Do you think Waters would have said the same thing? Given his vocal position on so many other topics, my money is on yes. So, I think the anti-semitism point is a red herring to the whole discussion.

    I also don’t believe for a second that Maroon 5 is going to kill what’s left of their career by taking a knee. I hesitate to call them sell-outs, because I don’t think they ever had anything to sell out, but they definitely know self-preservation.

  • Rob

    He’ll maintain his position as a hyper-commercial sellout.

  • Trevor Henry

    Maroon 5 are just another brick in the wall man…

  • Rob

    Gods bless the Benjamins.
    Gotta go – am listening to Little Feats’ A Apolitical Blues.

  • tarry_on

    An immediate translation was not available.

    Haha, this ^^.