“I will not be a spectator, viewer or supporter of the #SuperBowl today in protest of the @NFL’s racist treatment of @Kaepernick7 and its ongoing disregard for the health + well-being of all its players,” wrote director Ava DuVernay just hours before kickoff. “To watch the game is to compromise my beliefs. It’s not worth it. #ImWithKap.” Nick Cannon also tweeted out a supportive statement to Kaepernick ahead of the Super Bowl and announced he would be making a donation to the former quarterback’s Know Your Rights Camp, and encouraged his followers to do the same.
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In the months leading up to the event, many fans have asked would-be performers to back out of performing at the halftime show, in support of Kaepernick. Just two days before the big game, rapper Cardi B told the Associated Press that although she had “mixed feelings” about turning down the opportunity to perform at the halftime show, it was important to “stand behind” the athlete. “My husband [Offset], he loves football. His kids play football. It’s really hard for him… He really wants to go to the Super Bowl, but he can’t go to the Super Bowl, because he’s got to stand for something,” Cardi told the outlet. “You have to sacrifice that. 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.” Earlier this week, headliners Maroon 5 announced that along with the NFL and Interscope Records, they would be making a $500,000 contribution to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.