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Of all the reasons to criticize Maroon 5’s half-time performance at the Super Bowl on Sunday – lackluster, lifeless, and unmemorable are all words that come to mind – the band is taking the most heat for not injecting social justice into the mix.
Responding to the critics on his Instagram account, Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine tried to assure angry fans that political messaging did indeed make it into the show in the form of the “one love” message spelled out via flying lanterns.
“When we accepted the responsibility to perform at the [Super Bowl halftime show], I took out my pen and just wrote,” Levine said on his account. “Some of the words that came to me in that moment eventually made their way onto the incredible lanterns that flew high and low tonight.”
And just to really show his SJW street cred, Levine went on to “thank the universe” for the opportunity to perform.
“We thank the universe for this historic opportunity to play on the world’s biggest stage,” said Levine. “We thank our fans for making our dreams possible. And we thank our critics for always pushing us to do better. One Love.”
He continued, “And the list of words is… Forgive, Laugh, Cry, Smile, Share, Live, Endure, Embrace, Remember, Enlighten, Preserve, Inspire, Sweat, Fight, Express, Give, Receive, Elevate, Climb, Unify, Fortify, Soften, Dance, Scream, Dream, Educate, Provide, Inhale, Exhale, Persevere, Stand, Kneel, Overcome, Love, Listen.”
What is most odd about Maroon 5’s decision to ultimately kick politics aside in favor of the generic “one love” message is that Levine promised that social justice warriors would “be heard” at the final performance in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
“I’ve never been more excited in my life to present this to the people because I believe that it’s truly a reflection of all of us,” Levine said. “I’d like to think that people know where I stand as a human being after two decades of doing this. So what I’d say is we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing, hopefully without becoming politicians, to make people understand we got you.”
Getting a major artist to perform in the halftime show was an arduous task for the NFL, due to the fact that multiple musicians vowed to boycott the show in solidarity with national anthem protester Colin Kaepernick. On Friday, Levine said he made the decision to perform based on how he felt.
“No one thought about it more than I did,” said Levine. “No one put more thought and love into this than I did. …I spoke to many people, most importantly though, I silenced all the noise and listened to myself, and made my decision about how I felt.”
Prior to the performance, a massive petition circulating online demanded that Maroon 5 kneel in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, promoted by none other than Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters.
“Next Sunday will be the 36th Sunday he has been locked out of your national game,” Waters wrote. “This is not a victory for the NFL, it is a defeat, you have denied football fans everywhere the pleasure and the honor of watching one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever played the game, and you have shown your true colors. You can sit in your boardrooms and huff and puff on your cigars in your glass boxes, but your action is a poke in the eye for everything that is decent in America.”
Waters continued, “Colin Kaepernick is an American hero. If the USA is to have a future, it is the Colin Kaepernicks of this world who will lead you there — in fact, it is Colin Kaepernick who is leading you now.”