It’s official, folks: This year’s Super Bowl halftime act on February 3 in Atlanta is set to be Maroon 5, rapper Travis Scott, and Outkast’s Big Boi. As reported byPeople, the news follows months of speculation, as Maroon 5 was first rumored to be the headlining act back in September. (Frontman Adam Levine posted a short promotional video clip on Twitter today with the hashtag #SBLIII, confirming it.)
This will be the group’s first time performing for the halftime show, following Justin Timberlake last year and Lady Gaga in 2017. Unlike those performers, however, the band has had to face fans who’ve asked for this year’s performers to boycott the event in support of Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who sparked the #TakeAKnee movement, kneeling or sitting during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality, for which he was effectively banned from the league. (Karpernick has since become something of a full-time activist, and featured in a notably popular Nike ad campaign last year, which was slammed by our President Donald Trump for having “a terrible message.”) Rihanna, Cardi B, and Jay-Z have all reportedly refused to perform at the Super Bowl in light of the league’s treatment of Kaepernick.
— Maroon 5 (@maroon5) January 13, 2019
In an attempt to preempt the backlash, Scott has announced that he’s partnered with the NFL to donate $500,000 to his charity of choice—a commitment he demanded from the sports league before signing on for the Super Bowl. “I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in. I know being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire,” Scott said in a statement. “So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation. I am proud to support Dream Corps and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change.” Dream Corps is a social justice–minded organization that aims to “back initiatives that close prison doors and open doors of opportunity for all.”