Sexist and Racist NFL Decision Upstaged by Social Media

Janet Jackson disrespect and double standard called out. Justin Timberlake should have insisted Jackson perform, he was boring without her.


Justin Timberlake performing at halftime during Super Bowl LII on Sunday was rebuffed by fans of Janet Jackson who chose to show their admiration for the superstar amid white male privilege and sexism.

#JanetJacksonAppreciationDay trended all day Sunday with tributes to Jackson, eventually reaching the no. 1 spot.

In 2004, Jackson was the headliner for the halftime show and Timberlake was her special guest. During the performance, Timberlake ripped off a piece of her costume, exposing her right breast. He later described it as an unintended “wardrobe malfunction.”

The NFL’s announcement in October that Timberlake would be returning to the Super Bowl triggered a backlash from those who felt Jackson took the heat for the incident, which almost ended her career.

CBS and MTV’s parent company Viacom “hits back at Jackson by essentially blacklisting her, keeping her music videos off their properties MTV, VH1, and radio stations under their umbrella,” Rolling Stone reported of the backlash in 2004.

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake perform in 2004 at the Super Bowl halftime show.

As a Black woman, some argued that Jackson fell victim to a racist and sexist double standard than Timberlake, as a white man, did. Because Timberlake was invited to perform on Sunday’s show, they said he benefited from “white male privilege.”

Timberlake said in a news conference in Minneapolis on Thursday that Jackson would possibly join him on stage.

“To be honest I had a ton of grand ideas about special guests,” he said. “There’s a whole list. I think Vegas has a lot of odds on it. From NSYNC to [Jay-Z] to Chris Stapleton to Janet.”

But Jackson put a stop to the rumor prior to Sunday’s performance.

“To put to rest any speculation or rumors as to whether I will be performing at the Super Bowl tomorrow; I will not,” she said in a statement on Saturday. “Thank you for your support and I do look forward to seeing you all very soon.”

Former NFL player turned filmmaker, Matthew A. Cherry, tweeted the idea for Janet Jackson Appreciation Day to his almost 90,000 Twitter followers on Friday.

“I just saw that there was a lot of speculation on whether or not Justin would invite her to perform,” Cherry told DiversityInc on Sunday. “ I just wanted to do something that regardless of what happened we celebrated her.”

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Celebrities showed their appreciation for Jackson as well.

Chance The Rapper tweeted a photo of a young Jackson with her older brother and superstar, Michael:

Singer Jussie Smollett, who stars in the TV show “Empire,” tweeted that Jackson is the greatest living entertainer:

Missy Elliott posted a selfie of her with the pop star:

Jackson presented Elliott with the Visionary Award at the Essence 9th Annual Black Women in Music award show in New York City on Jan. 25.

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  • If there was a true and prolonged boycott of the NFL, Goodall and comrades would at least think twice before discriminating. But as much as I want to target NFL leadership (NFL HQ staff, team owners); Black people are allowing the NFL to weaponized their discrimination through well representative support. From the players to fans, the Black community acts as if football is their crack cocaine.

    I know why Black people act this way. But it’s still confusing for me. We (Black people) are truly a disturbed and damaged people (psychologically, socially, emotionally, culturally and physically).

      • Grannybunny- Are you related to BUGS BUNNY? What Lee forgot to include was that ALL the damages were and are the direct result of enslaving, psychotic, sociopathic, genocidal, maniaical WHITE PEOPLE who f*cked up Christianity! If tRump and Mike Pence are “Christians,” I’ll revert to Atheism. Do you and tRump share the same complexion that provides protection for ignorance, arrogance, and plain stupidity?

        Any Black person under racism, white supremacy who does NOT acknowledge that they’ve been damaged psychologically, culturally, and socially is CRAZY. Change your name to Funnybunny– your comments are laughable and don’t reflect the wisdom of any “granny,” except maybe an opiod granny.

  • Herbert Rideout

    I think we should go back to college bands. Maybe bring back Michael Jackson or Prince those are entertainers. I didn’t even watch halftime, not a timerlake fan.

  • He was BORING to a fault. His performance was so lame, it made me sleepy. I turned off the volume. He needed HELP from hot Janet Jackson or Tina Turner.

    It was so corny that only dull, white-breds like Mitt Romney, Mike Pence, Pat Robertson, and Paul Ryan would think he was jammin’. He fulfilled tRump’s promise to make AmeriKKKa lily white again!

  • Possibly the surest way to tell is that people are actually angry with Timberlake this time round. Back then, everyone was angry with Jackson, even though – I shout, running to my blackboard like Kevin Costner in JFK to illustrate the workings of a world-shaking conspiracy – it was TIMBERLAKE who ripped Jackson’s bra off, not blameless JACKSON. And yet it was Jackson who got all the kickback while Timberlake sailed blithely on into a sea of global adulation that lasted nearly a decade. Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake at the 2004 Super Bowl. Photograph: David Phillip/APWell, Janet, the arc of time bends towards sweet revenge, or something, and last weekend everyone – somewhat belatedly – tweeted their support to Jackson in the runup to Timberlake’s return.

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