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Roger Waters urges Maroon 5, Travis Scott & Big Boi to “take a knee” during Super Bowl performance

Roger Waters at Desert Trip
photo by Kevin Mazur for Desert Trip

Roger Waters posted a new letter to Facebook urging Super Bowl LIII halftime performers Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi to “take a knee,” “on stage in full sight,” during their performance on Sunday. “I call upon them to do it in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick,” Roger writes, “to do it for every child shot to death on these mean streets, to do it for every bereaved mother and father and brother and sister.”

Roger also shared a video of he and his band — which included Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius — taking a knee at the end of a September 2017 show in Hartford, CT. “We did it in solidarity with San Francisco Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s gesture of protest against the endemic racism and often deadly force meted out by police departments across this land,” Roger writes. “It was the third Sunday of Colin Kaepernick’s lock out by the NFL. The message was clear, ‘Shut your mouth, boy!’ Next Sunday will be the 36th Sunday he has been locked out of your national game. This is not a victory for the NFL, it is a defeat, you have denied football fans everywhere the pleasure and the honor of watching one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever played the game, and you have shown your true colors.” Read Roger’s letter in full below.

Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi have all faced criticism for doing this year’s halftime performance; Rihanna and Cardi B are among those who reportedly turned down the slot, in solidarity with Colin and in protest of police brutality. Travis claimed to have consulted with Colin about his decision to do the performance, and come to an understanding, which Colin denied.

More recently, Maroon 5 cancelled the pre-game halftime show press conference. “Maroon 5 has been working hard on a Pepsi Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show that will meet and exceed the standards of this event,” the NFL said in a statement. “As it is about music, the artists will let their show do the talking as they prepare to take the stage this Sunday.”

Maroon 5 told People that they’d join their label and the NFL in making a $500,000 donation to Big Brothers, Big Sisters of America. Travis Scott is also reportedly insisting the NFL join him in making a $500,000 donation to Van Jones’ Dream Corps, Billboard reports.

Roger Waters on the Superbowl Halftime Show:

There is a petition on Change.org/takeaknee aimed at persuading Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi to take a knee at halftime on Sunday:

This is my band taking a knee at the end of a gig in Hartford, Connecticut on Sunday 24th of September 2017. We did it in solidarity with San Francisco Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s gesture of protest against the endemic racism and often deadly force meted out by police departments across this land. It was the third Sunday of Colin Kaepernick’s lock out by the NFL. The message was clear, “Shut your mouth, boy!” Next Sunday will be the 36th Sunday he has been locked out of your national game. This is not a victory for the NFL, it is a defeat, you have denied football fans everywhere the pleasure and the honor of watching one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever played the game, and you have shown your true colors. You can sit in your boardrooms and huff and puff on your cigars in your glass boxes, but your action is a poke in the eye for everything that is decent in America. Colin Kaepernick is an American hero. If the USA is to have a future, it is the Colin Kaepernicks of this world who will lead you there, in fact, it is Colin Kaepernick who is leading you now. My colleagues Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi are performing during the halftime show at the Super-bowl this coming Sunday, I call upon them to “take a knee” on stage in full sight. I call upon them to do it in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, to do it for every child shot to death on these mean streets, to do it for every bereaved mother and father and brother and sister. My mother used to say to me, “In any situation there is nearly always a right thing to do, just do it.” So, there you go my brothers, you are faced with a choice, I’m not saying it will be easy, all the Presidents men, all the huffers and puffers, will be royally pissed off, but, $#@%’em, I call upon you to do it because it’s the right thing to do and because somewhere inside you know it.

Love

Roger Waters

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