Jay-Z and Beyoncé‘s appearance at Sunday’s Super Bowl seemed to get more press than the actual game did.
That’s because the famous couple could be seen sitting down during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” sang by Demi Lovato.
Many thought the act was a form of protest, and that Jay-Z and Beyoncé were following Colin Kaepernick, who protested racism by kneeling for the anthem at games.
The former NFL quarterback staged the protest when he was a member of the San Francisco 49ers in 2016.
But Jay-Z said staying seated wasn’t an act of protest, and he and the “Lemonade” singer had another reason they didn’t stand.
“The Blueprint” creator explained all of this on Tuesday when he visited Columbia University and was asked about the act.
“A lot of people took note that the fact that you and your wife were seated during the national anthem. Was it meant to convey a signal?” asked the interviewer.
“It actually wasn’t. Sorry. It really wasn’t,” Jay-Z answered. “What happened was, it was not premeditated at all … If it was me, I would say yes that’s what I’ve done, and I think people know that about me … What happened was, we got there, we’re sitting and now the show is about to start … So we get there and immediately jump into artist mode.”
“Now I’m just looking at the show,” he added. “So the whole time we’re sitting there and talking about the performance, and after that Demi comes out, we’re talking about how beautiful she looked and how she sounds and what she’s going through in her life for her to be on the stage. We’re so proud of her.”
The legendary rapper then said he didn’t need to protest against the NFL by sitting, because he protested in other ways that are far more measurable.
“It just happened. I didn’t have to make a silent protest,” Jay-Z explained. “If you look at the stage, the artists that we chose, Colombian [Shakira], Puerto Rican J. Lo … We were making the biggest loudest protest of all … We had a commercial run on social injustice at the Super Bowl.”
Jay-Z’s comments come after many assumed that he and Beyoncé staying seated for the anthem was a form of protest.
Kaepernick was one of those people, and he criticized the power couple without having any proof or confirmation of that being the case.
“I thought we were past kneeling,” the quarterback reposted from another user on social media, which was a comment Jay made when it was announced he’d be working with the NFL on its entertainment and social justice initiatives.
The political commentator Tomi Lahren made the same accusation and slammed the rapper and his wife.
Wendy Williams also criticized the couple on “The Wendy Williams Show” and said “if you don’t like our country then,” leaving viewers to think the television host was suggesting the couple leave the United States.
Some people left comments under the clip of Jay-Z’s interview and defended him and his superstar wife.
“Who gives AF!” one person wrote. “Jay-z and Beyoncé have the right to stand or not to stand! People and their selective outrage is annoying AF!”