Travis Scott's participation in Super Bowl LIII has been met with widespread criticism. Even before he confirmed his halftime show performance, the Houston rapper was facing mounting pressure to withdraw from the gig out of support of Colin Kaepernick—the former 49ers QB who was allegedly blacklisted for his on-field protest against police brutality.
Though many say Scott's halftime performance is disrespectful to Kaepernick—and the Black Lives Matter movement—sources say the rapper consulted with the athlete about his Super Bowl LIII involvement.
Per Variety: "A source close to Scott said that while the two did not necessarily agree, they emerged from the conversation with mutual respect and understanding."
The insider said Scott defended his decision by insisting the show could shed more light on the cause. Scott reportedly refused to confirm his participation until the NFL locked down a $500,000 donation to Dream Corps, a nonprofit organization that specializes in social justice issues.
"I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in," Scott said when announcing his Super Bowl Halftime Show appearance. "I know being an artist that it's in my power to inspire. So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation. I am proud to support Dream Corps and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change."
Scott will perform alongside Big Boi and halftime show headliner Maroon 5 on Feb. 3 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. An online petition is calling on all three acts to take a knee during the set. The petition's creator, Vic Oyedeji, says this form of protest is the "only way" Scott, Big Boi, and Maroon 5 can redeem themselves.
"Show the hundreds of millions of people watching that you stand in solidarity with Kaepernick and all players who protest police brutality," Oyedeji wrote on Change.org. "Use this opportunity to force the NFL to change their policy."
The petition has garnered more than 85,000 signatures as of press time.