When it was announced that Travis Scott was joining Adam Levine to perform at the halftime show of Super Bowl LIII it was at the displeasure of, well, everyone.
Not only wasn’t it standing in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, who is currently suing the NFL on counts of collusion, but the NFL didn’t even bother to get an Atlanta-native to perform at halftime. They called upon Jay- Z, who turned it down. They gave Rihanna a ring, and she said, “Nah”.
Everyone was on board of curving the Super Bowl to the point that it was reported that Maroon 5, who was the chosen headliner for some reason, was “having a lot of trouble finding guests” to perform with them, with a source telling US Weekly that,
“No one wants to associate themselves with the NFL in light of its response to Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality.”
Yet, Travis bit anyway.
However, believe it or not, Travis Scott may have redeemed his ill-advised decision.
A source close to the negotiations has now confirmed to Billboard this week that Scott required the NFL to make a joint donation to an organization fighting for social justice in order for him to move forward with the event — an effort which seems to be in response to the backlash he’s received.
Turns out the figure is $500,000 and it’s a partnership with the NFL to the “social justice accelerator” Dream Corps, an organization founded by Van Jones in 2014, and will work with the NFL on additional initiatives. Scott said in a statement,
“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. 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.”
— Maroon 5 (@maroon5) January 13, 2019
Some say, if you’ve been watching the NFL there’s no room for you to criticize Travis Scott because that’d mean you weren’t standing in solidarity with Kaepernick in the first place; to which, they’d be correct. Others say it’s a matter of making a statement to the NFL and being firm as one.
Either way, the “Sicko Mode” artist has made up his mind and will be at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 3rd.
Whether or not a $500,000 donation to a beneficial cause is enough to make up for the crimes the NFL has yet to pay is up to the fans and what they’ll do at halftime, but honestly, it’s probably more than anyone who’s raised their tongue in disapproval has done.
I’m not sure if Travis’ motives are any more displaced than anyone who’s watched one lick of the NFL this season. For him, the matter could be as simple as securing the bag, and I know none of us can hate on that.
At the end of the day, if more of us would get up and do something instead of criticizing what someone else is doing, more might get done.
Maybe it’s good Travis was pressed; who knows, the NFL might not have given a donation at all. But let’s not pretend that his choice to perform isn’t, if even a little, softened by the fact that it came with the stipulations Travis made.
Good for Scott, and let’s hope he all artists, players, and influencers can make more sound plans to disrupt the corruptness of more institutions like the NFL.