The refusal to stand up is even more notable considering that Jay-Z and his Roc Nation company entered a partnership with the NFL for events and social activism last year. The rapper has been criticized since becoming one of the biggest supporters of Colin Kaepernick, the ex-49er quarterback who sparked a fissure in the NFL when he decided to kneel during the national anthem to protest against police brutality against African-Americans and other minorities.
The couple’s decision divided the audience who watched them during the game: several Twitter commentators had called the decision “obnoxious”, “disgusting” and accused them of being bad role models.
How could you not stand with 4 WWII vets there - 100 years old each! 🤷🏻♀️🤷🏻♀️🤷🏻♀️🤷🏻♀️— Christine Payton (@ctpayton) February 3, 2020
Terrible role models for their daughter & for the country.— M (@L4USA) February 3, 2020
Others, however, had noted that standing during the national anthem is an individual choice and tradition rather than an obligation.
I served in the US Military for over 20 years proudly, and I did, so that people could exercise their 1st amendment rights - like, for example, not having to stand for the National Anthem. It is their right to not stand if they choose. Freedom. pic.twitter.com/g66y5EJEkc— Steve Tressler (@SteveTressler) February 3, 2020
Wow! They’re Americans who believe you “have to” stand for the national anthem. That’s interesting. It’s not true. It’s always been a choice. In other news, no one is mad at the white guy sitting next to them seated during the song? 🤔🤔 #Beyonce #JayZ #SuperBowl— Ms.Queenie.Educates (@MrsQueenieJ) February 3, 2020
MUCH RESPECT for Beyoncé and Jay-Z in supporting Colin Kaepernick's fight against #injustice. ✊— Joe Calexit (@Joe_Calexit) February 3, 2020
NO RESPECT to the NFL for bowing to pressure from @realDonaldTrump and taking Kap off the field. #BLM #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/nzCP5knOhN
Representatives for Jay-Z and Beyoncé have yet to release any comment about the pair’s decision to remain seated during the anthem.