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As we reported yesterday, legendary singer and longtime civil rights champion  Gladys Knight will sing the National Anthem prior to Super Bowl 53 which is being held in her hometown of Atlanta on Feb 3.

Of course it comes as no surprise that the Knight is being criticized for her move by supporters of quarterback Colin Kaepernick who they feel has been blackballed from the National Football League because of his sideline protests against police abuse of African Americans by “taking a knee.”

In response, Knight has issued this statement:

“I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice,” she wrote. “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.”

“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.”

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59 thoughts on “Gladys Knight Issues Statement On Colin Kaepernick And Super Bowl Involvement

  1. LyriCáh on said:

    Knight – Are you out of money sweetie? Do us all a favor and sing the National Anthem in its entirety – meaning the verses they purposely kept out. Only then will I ever support you again…

  2. Xandra Bonds on said:

    PLEASE Black award shows: Black Girls Rock, Soul Train Music Awards, BET Music Awards, BET Honors, etc., at the beginning of each and every award show that supports and honors the majority of black people sing the “BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM”, LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING. Then have the opening act. Too many singers and background vocalist there for us not to do this. Too many people protesting for us not to have this done. Do it PLEASE. Maybe we can bring back honor and respect amongst our selves!

  3. People please take 10 minutes out of your day, and look at the FIRST 10 minutes of today’s broadcast 1-21-19 of The View on Youtube. It’s MLK’s words that most of us have never heard before. Talk about phenomena wordsl!!

  4. Leon Johnson on said:

    Ms Knight I love you, but from what you are saying you have not read the whole poem turned into a song. Start with the third verse that advocates the death of Black people!!!

  5. Marilyn on said:

    Some of you should become more informed. Artists who perform at the Super Bowl do not get paid. The NFL covers the cost. Performing at the Super Bowl is not about money.

    • Marilyn it’s hard to believe that people don’t get paid to perform at the Super Bowl. You indicated that the NFL covers the cost. Your comment is unclear……so what does the NFL cover the cost of as it relates to singing the anthem??

  6. Adrienne Roussell on said:

    This sounds like a big fat crock of bullshit!! YOU can never give the NA any voice in African American space!! It is disturbing to see someone as mature as you having no emotional attachment to the movement!!

  7. I’d venture to say that most people talking smack about Gladys haven’t participated in a protest in their lives…..they just like to PONTIFICATE (for those that don’t know what it means….it means talk ‘S’)

  8. I find it interesting that as black people we call for unity amongst ourselves all the time, but as soon as one of us does something that some don’t agree with those that call for unity immediately say they’re cancelled. Then do the same thing we accuse white people of doing by belittling our own with name calling: coons, slaves, sell outs, the N word, uncle Tom and much more. It’s disgusting. If you don’t agree with her or want to continue to listen to her then don’t. She is a grown woman and is going to be just fine. Her legacy is solid and can’t be destroyed just because her decision is not agreed with. Sometimes it just seems like people would rather complain about the system instead of getting in it and making a difference. What if, just what if, she, Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi were the catalyst for change? It’s what everyone says they want, isn’t it?

    • DB thanks for your common sense comments. In reference to people’s negative comments I think some people are just negative by nature, and I think some people come on this site just to troll and talk smack. We all know someone that what mostly comes out of their mouths is negativity. Most people ignore their ignorant ‘A’

      • Some of us are sadly close-minded, hypocritical and immature. Its fruitless to believe you can or have the right to change anyone. People have the right feel, think and believe what they want; just as the hypocrites on this site do. Worry bout yourselves and leave others alone.

  9. “Historic choice of words,” “bring us all together.” Clearly Gladys has not read or heard the words of the second stanza of the song.

  10. JB Silent on said:

    Anybody that thinks the national anthem or the man that wrote it is racist is totally ignorant of the situation at the time. I’m guessing that you use racist, homophobia, and fascist as excuses for your lack of intelligence.

  11. Mac Daddy on said:

    I’m telling you, the chemicals in weave are broken down and absorbed by the scalp, causing neurological damage. Black women, stop this insanity

  12. Dysfunctional on said:

    I also want to say, that You should fight to fix the problems with in the system, not fight the system it self: unless your goal is to war with the system, to destroy it. Or to put it in metaphor form, How can you make peace with your spouse over leaving the clothes on the floor, if you are going to attack everything he or she stands for first? You have to make this marriage work.

  13. Dysfunctional on said:

    I agree with this lady. She’s saying that we should fight for justice under the National anthem as a unified people: that attacking the anthem is not even relevant to his cause; but rather is pulling us further apart.

  14. 4 EVER 1 on said:

    IT’S JUST SAD WHAT PEOPLE WILL DO FOR A PAYCHECK, IF YOU WERE THAT IMPORTANT TO THE NFL, THEY WOULDN’T HAVE MADE YOU A SACRIFICE CALL…LAST PERSON TO TRY…OOOPS WE FOUND 1

  15. Evie Smith on said:

    In her day, Gladys’ way to protest inequality was to march. Now it is Colin Kaepernick’s day, and his way to protest police brutality is to take a knee. I respect and honor both because this is America where we have something called ‘Freedom of Choice’ that our ancestors did not have at one time.

  16. Jocef Manntess on said:

    exsquse me, same anthem Luther and Jennifer and Bey and Whitney sang. Same one Marvin sang. An old, story, true and carries forward….it the singer not the song.

  17. Linda Morris on said:

    I am truly a fan of Gladys, however, I can’t agree with her. Now I must decide if I want to continue to attend her concerts in the future. Right now, I think I am done.

  18. Carol Slaughter on said:

    Know that the National Anthem is not ours. It was written by a racist and is one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American. So Gladys do what you feel, but don’t make it about us. It’s about you and you getting paid. That’s your choice. I have always loved you; just saw you recently at the Palace. Again your choice, and those of us who disagree will make our choice.

  19. I’ve never watched a football game. I’ve only watched three people perform at half time. Prince, Aretha Franklin, and Whitney Houston. This will be my fourth time tuning in to half time. I don’t give a damn what words come out of her mouth, as long as she’s singing them, I’ll be listening. Beautiful, classy, talented and wise woman. There are none so blind as those who choose not to see.

  20. americanize on said:

    Some of these old civil rights kneegrows are broken how in the fu*k a anthem writin by a white supremacist is suppose to bring us together.SMH Well Gladys I won’t be watching.

    • Passing Through!! on said:

      Yep, these same racist who call themselves patriots saluting that flag, their flag who are being led by their grand wizard who occupies the white house. The National Aint-them does nothing to unite us, the mere fact that white supremacists are offended over a silent non violent protest proves this isn’t our anthem. That fat POS called ball players
      SOB’s while licking the boots of a foreign enemy. The racist have no problem with 45 bending the country over to Russia but mad at players for protesting black injustice.

      • You have a beautiful voice Gladys. Don’t let the racists of America (the haters on this page)
        get on you. Sing Sing Sing !!!

      • Obviously you are an ignorant RACIST. Kaepernick is an anti American POS !!! He wants to disgrace America, The Flag, Veterans, and Active Duty Military !!! F that POS !!!
        By calling OUR PRESIDENT the Grand Wizard, shows you to have a room temperature IQ…
        Sing Gladys SING !!!! F these racist jerks like Passing Through….

  21. Sharon K on said:

    Gladys, I love you, but I can’t agree with you. This man kneeled and fought for our people’s injustice were our National Anthem say Justice For All. Are we as a people putting money before our own now?.

    • Hmmm I’m waiting for someone to kneel for he injustices we commit to each other. Our brothers kill other brothers in numbers the police could never catch up to. In fact, we aren’t even the number one group of people killed by police. I’m no fan of the National Anthem, but I am a fan of us prospering instead of going backwards and killing each other off…I know, I know, that argument requires ownership, responsibility and change; something sadly too many of us have NO interest in.

  22. Ted Gravely on said:

    Christianforreal, you are right on all your points. However, I love Mrs Knight and will support her although I disagree with her. Some blacks are subservient to the very things that enslaved their forefathers. You will never get them to see the wicked ways of the white man. They have the elusion of inclusion. Mrs Knight has that elusion that just because they rub her head and clap for her that she is one of them. We know she isn’t and these racists stay on code. You’re going to always have someone break the picket line. She’s it.

      • americanize on said:

        @Passing Through Ur right,a lot of kneegrows don’t know that the white supremacist weponize money to,they can get a kneegrow to sell out the entire group,just dangle some dollars in his/her face.But me and a bunch of others won’t be watching.

  23. It is ridiculously peculiar how this country can have an LGBTQXYZ group throw a tantrum over a ten year old “tweet,” and all sorts of people chase after R, Kelly for his disgusting ways, but can not seem to find fever for their feelings of a racist anthem that is sung daily. It is… hypocritical, to say the least and to put it in semi-kind words.

  24. Yes, there IS something distinctive about a song that was written by a self proclaimed racist, of which, in the lyrics of the 3rd stanza/verse, shows a thought process replete with hatred, disrespect, and malice for “slaves” as the author reveals his desires to send them to their graves.

    To sing THIS song, after knowing about all of that, makes me question your sanity, awareness, and psychological well being, regardless of your race and ethnicity. Oh yes, we, as black folk, like with everything else that we’ve touched, put the spirit into that song every we have sung it; from Whitney to Ray Charles, yet…. when you get to that city of knowledge, and you discover the foundation of something, and the intent and recklessness behind it, …then you HAVE to hold yourself accountable.

    This song ain’t for us.

    • Well said and I totally agree with you. Many of us for various reasons, in an effort to garner the spotlight (once again), will deliberately undermine our conscious to appease those who will feel can open new doors for us in the wake of our not being noticed until a time such as this. It’s called cooning in my book and it’s the same old narrative with us. When will we learn.

    • Jocef Manntess on said:

      “when you get to that city of knowledge, and you discover the foundation of something, and the intent and recklessness behind it, …then you HAVE to hold yourself accountable” nice backhand diss on the ancestors not having knowledge.

  25. Christianforreal on said:

    While I agree with Ms. Knight’s freedom to make that choice, I disagree with what she said. They are not mutually exclusive. She has been an advocate for civil rights for many years and she knows the battles. She has had to enter through the back door of a place to perform. She has been excluded from being able to perform because of the color of her skin. The fight that she and many others like her have waged, has given us many privileges that this country did not want to relent. However, this fight continues. We gain the rights in one aspect and lose them in another. While many of the exact privileges that the generation before me were fighting for has been granted, there are, way, many others that have been taken or ignored and we can’t sing about the unification of this country when we aren’t treated like we’re a part of the same unit. It is her choice to sing and as a fan of hers, I’d loved to hear her, but let’s not act like the fight is over, because it isn’t. She sounds like Lil Wayne, in her explanation. Understand Ms. Knight and Lil Wayne, you are still non-white in this America and there are way too many things that we are not privy to in this American, because of the color of our skin. So if you’re singing at the Super-bowl to celebrate the progress that we’ve made up until this point, then, by-all-means, go for it!!! But let’s not act like the fight is over and we’re equals, because we are not!!!

    • You’re entire argument became moot when in your last line you “But let’s not act like the fight is over and we’re equals, because we’re not.” Speak for yourself; this type of subservient thinking is why so many of us gladly take on the long suffering, perpetual victim role; bot because anyone else has expressed to them that they are somehow less than. THEY believe they are less than…pathetic.

  26. I agree, its Ms. Knight choice. Just like you cant condemn people who stands with Minister Farrakhan, everything is speaks on is not wrong. White America is not condemning the person in the white house, Alabama decides not to honor Angela Davis, one of our own. Some people just need to go have a SEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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