Gladys Knight Criticizes Colin Kaepernick Before Her Super Bowl National Anthem Performance

Legendary soul singer Gladys Knight recently said that she does not agree with Colin Kaepernick protesting during the national anthem.

Gladys Knight

Image via Getty/Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

Gladys Knight

Legendary soul singer Gladys Knight is the latest person to chime in about Colin Kaepernick's kneel.

Knight is scheduled to sing the anthem at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta next month and had some words about Kaepernick's ongoing protest. "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," she told TMZ. "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."

Despite not agreeing with how Kaepernick has decided to convey his message to the world, Knight did say that she understands his reasoning. But she'll still be singing the anthem before this year's big game. 

"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," Knight said. "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."

Celebrities have been critical of the artists performing on Super Bowl Sunday this year: Travis Scott, Maroon 5, and Big Boi. Cardi B reportedly chose to decline an invitation to stand in solidarity with Kaepernick.

Variety reported that Kaepernick spoke with La Flame about performing, but Kaepernick's team denied a conversation ever occured. In fact, the 31-year old reportedly actually doesn't approve of Scott's involvement with the performance. Over 86,000 people have also signed a petition asking all of the halftime performers drop out of the event altogether.

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