Congressman Blasts NFL for Rihanna's Halftime Performance

A Texas lawmaker highly disapproves of Rihanna's Super Bowl engagement. The Fenty businesswoman's first performance in nearly four years will be Sunday at the Apple Music halftime show. Republican Congressmen and former White House doctor Ronny Jackson from Texas explained why he wouldn't be watching. On Twitter and Truth Social, Jackson criticized the NFL for inviting the Barbadian singer to perform during Sunday's Super Bowl 57 halftime show. He argued that she should be removed from the show since the pop star previously tweeted pictures of a Cadillac with the words "F— Trump" spray-painted on it. "Rihanna spray painted 'F*** Donald Trump' on a car at the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo. She's made a career of spewing degenerate filth while badmouthing America every chance she gets. Why is the NFL showcasing this crap? Rihanna SHOULD NOT be the halftime performer!!," Jackson tweeted.

Rihanna posted on Instagram about her visit to the Cadillac Ranch tourist attraction in Amarillo in August 2020. The photo's caption read "art.," along with the hashtag "81 days." The hashtag appeared to allude to the build-up to the 2020 presidential election. In response to her visit, Jackson wrote at the time, "Painting "F— Trump" at Cadillac Ranch isn't "art," @rihanna, it's total disrespect to our country." The former president responded to Jackson's post on Truth Social by criticizing Rihanna, who has sold over 250 million records worldwide, making her the second-best-selling female artist ever. "Without her 'Stylist' she'd be NOTHING. Bad everything, and NO TALENT!" Trump posted on his Truth Social account. In 2018, Rihanna won a court battle against Trump after her performing rights company, Broadcast Music Inc., informed the then-president that her music could no longer be used at rallies. 

In the lead-up to the show, Rihanna attended an interview four days before the big game in front of the media to discuss her halftime performance. She addressed the message she hoped to convey. "That's a big part of why this is important for me to do the show: representation," Rihanna said on Feb. 8 in Glendale, Arizona. "Representing for immigrants; representing for my country, Barbados; representing for Black women everywhere." Previously, the pop star declined to perform at the NFL's halftime show, citing her solidarity with NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who kneeled during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality in America.