On Thursday, the legendary Gladys Knight announced her new gig in partnership with the NFL, which came amid outrage over #TravisScott’s decision to play the Super Bowl instead of standing in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
But now, in an attempt to defend her decision to sing the National Anthem ahead of the biggest night in sports, Knight is calling out Kaepernick and his silent protest against social injustices.
“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,” Knight said. “It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive sense of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”
“I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things and they are police violence and injustice,” Knight continued, highlighting the fact that Kaepernick’s mission was not lost in her decision and subsequent statement. But, added, “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.”
“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.”
Whew, chillay. Someone give Ms. Knight the lyrics to the National Anthem. Does she get a pass or are we going to have to cancel Auntie Gladys?