On February 3, 2019, two football teams will go head to head at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The Super Bowl isn't called the Big Game for nothing: it's a cultural event capable of planting even the most sports-eschewing human in front of the TV.
It's not just for the sports: this year, it will be Maroon 5 who takes the stage during halftime, a performance that will be one of the most-watched of the year. But not all of Maroon 5 peers will be watching the spectacle.
Many stars are sitting the Super Bowl out in protest of the treatment of NFL player and activist Colin Kaepernick.
The Nike spokesperson and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback made headlines in 2016 when he took a knee during the national anthem in protest of the slaying of unarmed Black men by police. While many praised the athlete for speaking out, others — including Donald Trump — criticized Kaepernick's choice of peaceful protest, and in May of 2018, the NFL declared that standing during the anthem an official policy.
In 2017, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers, and became a free agent. After he was not signed by another NFL team, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL, claiming that they colluded to keep him out of the league following his activism.