Gladys Knight will sing the National Anthem at this year's Super Bowl, The NFL has confirmed. Knight issued a statement after the news was confirmed in which she addressed The NFL's treatment of Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback exiled from the game after protesting police violence during his time at the San Francisco 49ers.
“I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice,” Knight told Variety. “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.”
Knight went on to detail her history of activism and protest, and how she hopes to bring people together when she performs before the 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, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good — 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.
"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."
Earlier this month it was confirmed that Maroon 5 will headline the Super Bowl halftime show alongside guests Travis Scott and Big Boi. It was reported that Scott consulted Kaepernick before agreeing to perform. The football player later expressed his unhappiness that anyone would agree to perform for The NFL at this present time.