Jay-Z explains his failure to stand during the anthem


Of the various dominoes that fell after Colin Kaepernick began sitting then kneeling during the national anthem, a fairly lucrative one landed in the lap of Jay-Z, who scored a partnership with the NFL as the league still tries to undo the damage done by its handling of the ensuing anthem controversy.

Now, Jay-Z finds himself in damage control (again) as he explains his own failure to stand during the national anthem at the Super Bowl.

Some perceived the sight of Jay-Z and spouse Beyoncé sitting down while Demi Lovato sand the Star-Spangled Banner as a protest. As it turns out, it was another example of the rampant and casual disrespect paid to the flag by fans who go about their pregame activities when they should be standing silently at attention.

Speaking Tuesday at Columbia University, Jay-Z said he wasn’t making a statement by sitting. Instead, he claims that he was simply putting in work by sitting in his seat.

We immediately jumped into artist mode,” Jay-Z said, via TMZ.com. “I’m really just looking at the show. The mics start. Was it too low to start?”

Because Roc Nation, owned by Jay-Z, now produces all aspects of Super Bowl musical performances, he had reason to pay close attention to the events transpiring on the field. He was focused. He likely was a little tense. Perhaps he was feeling the kind of tension that often manifests itself by compelling someone to naturally, you know, stand up.

The more plausible explanation could be the simplest one: Jay-Z just didn’t remember that he should stand up during the national anthem, like plenty of others sitting in luxury suites. It’s the ultimate irony of the anthem controversy; plenty of people who become agitated by Kaepernick’s perceived disrespect of the flag via his strategic message from not standing haphazardly disrespect the flag and the anthem in a wide variety of ways, from sitting to walking to talking to standing in line for a hot dog to fiddling with their phones to not removing their hats to not placing their hands on their hearts to shouting alternative lyrics to the song to otherwise failing to comply with the clear terms of 36 U.S. Code § 301.