Atlanta, GA – Singer Gladys Knight will sing the National Anthem at the 2019 Super Bowl and is being criticized for accepting the job saying it hurt the anti-police crusade started by Colin Kaepernick.
Playing at the Super Bowl has sparked protests from the Black Lives Matter crowd who criticized Maroon 5 for accepting an offer to play during the Super Bowl’s halftime show.
Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine previously appeared in a video with other celebrities saying that police kill black people for no reason.
In the video, Levine said that Jamar Clark was shot by police for attending a birthday party.
Jamar Clark was shot after police tried to arrest him during a confrontation with paramedics. He resisted arrest and grabbed an officer’s gun before he was shot.
Local activists later claimed that Clark was laying on the ground handcuffed when police executed him for no reason, despite 10 paramedic and law enforcement witnesses who said otherwise.
Now, Knight is being criticized on Twitter for agreeing to sing the National Anthem, according to Fox News.
F. Bruce Williams, a pastor at Bates Memorial Baptist in Kentucky tweeted, “Gladys I love u, ur music & ur extraordinary career. Ur absolutely amazing! But, I disagree with u on this. The threat is not to our national Anthem (especially the racist third stanza), it’s to justice! Ur voice would sound sweeter if it joined the protest by not singing.”
Many others tweeted that the National Anthem was a racist song written by a man who owned slaves, according to AOL.com.
Knight, 74, has won seven Grammy Awards and is best known for the song, “Midnight Train Georgia,” which was a No. 1 hit in 1973.
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“I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice,” Knight said in a statement released to Variety. “It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”
“I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good — I have been in the forefront of this battle longer than most of those voicing their opinions to win the right to sing our country’s Anthem on a stage as large as the Super Bowl LIII,” Knight continued. “No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and cannot be made so by anyone speaking it. I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us.”