Maroon 5 has been all but officially confirmed as the centerpiece of the halftime show during the upcoming Super Bowl LIII, but a petition is now circulating online urging the band to drop out of the performance.
The petition is in support of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 as a peaceful protest against police brutality. Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season and filed a grievance last year against the league and its owners, accusing them of colluding to keep him out of the league.
"Kaepernick risked his career to take a knee for equality, and the NFL punished him for it," the Change.org petition reads. "Until the league changes their policy and support players’ constitutional right to protest, no artists should agree to work with the NFL. Join me in asking Maroon 5 to drop out of the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show."
The petition also notes that Rihanna was approached to headline the Super Bow halftime show but declined the offer in support of Kaepernick.
As of Monday morning, over 47,000 people have signed the petition.
Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine addressed his band's potential participation in the halftime show during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show last week, and while he didn't officially confirm the news, his coy attitude seemingly made the announcement for him.
"Let's talk about this rumor of you possibly performing at halftime for the Super Bowl," DeGeneres asked Levine.
"What the hell are you talking about?” the 39-year-old playfully responded. "It’s a rumor. I can neither confirm nor deny the truth of this rumor. It’s definitely a rumor and the rumor’s a rumor that everyone seems to be discussing.”
The host noted that whether the rumor is true or not, Levine can't exactly comment due to the fact that the news has not been announced by the NFL.
"It’s the Super Bowl," Levine acknowledged. "It’s going to be a great event and there’s going to be a band...or an artist of some kind performing at halftime. And it’s going to be great regardless of whoever it is. Whoever is lucky enough to get that gig, probably is going to crush it."
DeGeneres then asked the father of two how he was feeling about the whole thing should his band be the one performing.
"If it were me, I’d be excited. I’d be nervous,” Levine responded, cracking, "I just can’t wait to watch.”
Judging by previous comments Levine has made, it doesn't seem the band will be pulling the plug on their performance, as the singer told Howard Stern in 2015, “We very actively want to play the Super Bowl.”
Super Bowl LIII is scheduled for Feb. 3, 2019 in Atlanta.
Photo Credit: Getty / Gilbert Carrasquillo