TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – More than 40,000 people have signed a petition urging the band Maroon 5 to back out of the Super Bowl Halftime Show to support former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Variety reported the band had “pretty much accepted” the gig for this year’s Super Bowl in Atlanta. The NFL had initially reached out to singer Rihanna, but she reportedly turned down the gig to stand in solidarity with Kaepernick.
Weeks ago, a Change.org petition titled “Maroon 5: Drop out of the Super Bowl Halftime Show” began circulating, calling for the band to shun the show.
“Colin Kaepernick has sacrificed his NFL career to call out violent racism in America, and players across the country have followed his lead,” the petition states. “Rihanna, Jay-Z, Amy Schumer, and others have refused to work with the NFL. Maroon 5: Americans look to artists and celebrities as leaders, and you have the opportunity to use your influence to take a stand.”
The quarterback, who began kneeling during the national anthem before games to protest social and racial injustices, has been kept off the field since opting out of his contract with the 49ers last year.
Maroon 5 has not officially confirmed whether or not they’ll appear at the game, but in an interview with talk show host Ellen Degeneres, the group’s frontman, Adam Levine said he could “neither confirm nor deny the truth of this rumor.”