Music mogul Jay-Z and wife Beyoncé made headlines after they remained seated during the national anthem at Super Bowl LIV.
— Page Six (@PageSix) February 3, 2020
“It actually wasn’t — sorry,” Jay-Z responded when asked if the moment was meant to be political. “I’d tell you … I’d say, ‘Yes, that’s what I’ve done.’ I think people know that about me.”
The “Empire State Of Mind” singer went on to explain what actually happened in the moment.
“What happened was, we got there, we were sitting, and now the show’s about to start,” Jay-Z explained. “My wife was with me and so she says to me, ‘I know this feeling right here.’ Like, she’s super-nervous because she’s performed at Super Bowls before. I haven’t. (RELATED: Beyoncé And Jay-Z Draw Criticism For Sitting Out National Anthem At The Super Bowl)
“So we get there and we immediately jump into artist mode … now I’m really just looking at the show,” he continued. “Did the mic start? Was it too low to start? … I had to explain to them [that] as an artist, if you don’t feel the music, you can’t really reach that level.”
Jay-Z claimed he didn’t need to make a “silent protest.”
“I didn’t have to make a silent protest … If you look at the stage and the artists that we chose — Colombian [Shakira] and Puerto Rican J.Lo — we were making the loudest statement,” he added. “And we had … a commercial running [on] social injustice during the Super Bowl … Given the context, I didn’t have to make a silent protest.”
In August of 2019, Jay-Z partnered with the NFL to head the entertainment and social justice efforts of the football league. For the Super Bowl, the NFL ran an ad featuring Cardinals player Anquan Boldin and the story about his cousin who was killed by police brutality.