Rapper Cardi B refused to perform at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show to stand behind former NFL superstar Colin Kaepernick. Despite this being another possible highlight for her career, she declined the league’s invitation.

She claimed she couldn’t stand behind them because of their treatment of Kaepernick and stated in an interview (according to the Associated Press), “I got to sacrifice a lot of money to perform. But there’s a man who sacrificed his job for us, so we got to stand behind him.”

Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar, professionally known as Cardi B, is an American rapper. We were first introduced to her face back in 2015 on VH1’s hit reality series “Love & Hip Hop” based in New York, but she didn’t stop there. In 2016 she left the “Love & Hip Hop” franchise and went on to put out her first hit single “Bodak Yellow.” Since then she’s been nominated for Grammy awards as she continues to dominate the music charts and has become a key icon in fashion.

I always find it very liberating when I see people like Cardi who are in the position to stand for something more than their music or their profession and actually choose to do something. This is a great example of using your voice, even if it’s something as simple as saying no to a Super Bowl performance.

Who doesn’t remember when former San Francisco’s 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem in protest of the injustice that had been going on in the country at the time and to pay tribute to war veterans? Around this time, multiple cases of police brutality and crossfire shootings surfaced, causing a news and social media uproar.

In many people’s eyes, taking a knee during the national anthem before a football game does nothing to help or improve any circumstances. However, it’s a start. Just like Cardi, he used his platform to stand for something bigger than himself, and if all of us put in these small efforts somehow, we all can stand for something.

Unfortunately, since the incident, Kaepernick became a free agent. The 49ers released him and no team after that would offer him a deal. According to Kaepernick’s attorney, an athlete who protests peacefully “should not be punished.”

Here we are now in 2019, and rising superstars like Cardi have made it their business to start back up this conversation. Cardi had every right to decline the Super Bowl performance. If she had performed, some people would have found something wrong with it, but of course now that she’s no longer doing the performance, other people still aren’t pleased.

You can’t win or lose when you’re a celebrity, but you can do whatever you feel is right despite the naysayers in the background. If I were Cardi, I wouldn’t have taken the performance either. On one hand you have the opportunity to showcase your talents on a bigger platform for a better price and global exposure. However, on the other hand, there’s this story of a man who chose to stand against the injustice of the world and ended up losing his career because the NFL didn’t agree with his approach.

I take my hat off to Cardi for standing with Kaepernick and resurfacing another issue that was pushed to the side. It’s even been reported that artists like Rihanna have also declined the performance.

The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch.

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