Soul Legend Gladys Knight to Sing National Anthem at Super Bowl
The native Atlantan and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was announced as the chosen artist by CBS and the NFL early Thursday.
Knight, who is best known for her hit “Midnight Train to Georgia,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1973 and had 11 more Billboard No. 1 R&B singles and six No. 1 R&B albums, is reportedly excited about the performance.
“I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta,” Knight said. “The NFL recently announced their new social justice platform Inspire Change, and I am honored to be a part of its inaugural year.”
There was definitely some mixed feelings on Twitter.
And, while that’s great that she is proud to use her “voice to unite and represent our country,” the NFL is clearly a racist organization that hasn’t done any work with reference to evolving from a place of white supremacy. There was a reason why Black entertainers were declining invitations to perform at the Super Bowl.
It’s discouraging to see Knight be a willing participant in the system that blackballed Colin Kaepernick for taking a stand against racism and police brutality. And given the fact, the pinnacle of Knight’s career was during the golden age of the civil rights movement, it is equally disappointing.
Even if the NFL has had a “change of heart,” why does Knight feel like the onus falls on her to “unite” fans at a football game Blacks have always been used as pawns to perform for the masses for the sake of entertaining in the name of so-called “unity.” This is no different. She wasn’t even the first choice.
The NFL had reached out to quite a few other performers, prior to asking her. And Black entertainers stood firmly and said no. Rightfully so. The game was always scheduled to be in Atlanta. So why her Why now