Early last month, Entertainment Weekly claimed that an anonymous source revealed to them that Gaga would be barred from speaking on politics during her performance. The NFL responded immediately, calling the claim “nonsense.”
“This is unsourced nonsense from people trying to stir up controversy where there is none,” NFL spokesperson Natalie Ravitz said, in a statement. “Lady Gaga is focused on putting together an amazing show for fans and we love working with her on it; we aren’t going to be distracted by this.”
Last year, Beyonce made waves when she performed her single “Formation,” which has a strong message against racism and police brutality. She also performed with her and her background dancers dressed in costumes evoking the socialist Black Panther party.
In 2012, the NFL filed a $16.6 million lawsuit against singer M.I.A. for raising her middle finger during her performance with Madonna.
Since the 2004 “nipplegate” disaster with Janet Jackson’s costume malfunction, the NFL has required artists and performers to sign contracts saying that they will adhere to the league’s standards of decorum, Yahoo News reports.