Beyonce and Jay-Z Face Backlash for Sitting During National Anthem at Super Bowl

A video of Beyonce and Jay-Z sitting during Demi Lovato's performance of the national anthem at the Super Bowl on Sunday night has sparked backlash on social media after surfacing online.

The clip, shared by TMZ, shows the musical couple and their 8-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, sitting as Lovato sang the national anthem at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, where the Kansas City Chiefs just won their first Super Bowl in 50 years with a 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Jay-Z, who co-produced the halftime show this year that featured singers Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, partnered with the National Football League (NFL) last year through his Roc Nation company. The rap icon, who supported Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality, immediately faced backlash over the partnership, with critics accusing him of betraying the former player's fight for racial equality.

Newsweek reached out to representatives for Beyonce and Jay-Z for comment.

In an interview with the New York Times, published one day before the 2020 Super Bowl, Jay-Z defended his decision to partner with the NFL, saying the negative press that ensued was outweighed by the opportunity to use their platform to raise awareness about police brutality against black individuals. "As long as real people are being hurt and marginalized and losing family members, then yes, I can take a couple rounds of negative press," he said.

Kaepernick made headlines in 2016 by kneeling on the football field during the national anthem to protest racial inequality. Since the former 49ers quarterback started the "taking a knee" movement in August 2016, President Donald Trump has repeatedly condemned the protests and called for the suspensions of players who refused to stop. In 2018, Kaepernick partnered with Nike to become the face of an ad campaign that featured the slogan, "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything."

Although it is unknown whether Beyonce and Jay-Z's decision to sit down was related to the "taking a knee" protests, critics of the movement hit Twitter after the video was released on Sunday night to condemn the couple for not standing during the national anthem.

"Not only should Beyoncé and Jay Z be ashamed for sitting during our National Anthem BUT they should be more ashamed that they have raised their child to also sit and disrespect our nation," user @blairbuys tweeted. "We stand for the men and women who put their lives on the line everyday for US. Disgusting."

"Yeah... sitting on their butts. No respect for America during National Anthem. Half time show 100 times better than Beyoncé's ever was," user @atensnut tweeted.

"Jay Z and his wife has reaped the rewards of this country, taken all they can and here they are, sitting during the anthem," user @laurajo82878461 tweeted.

"Not gonna lie...Jay Z and Beyoncé sitting during the National Anthem triggered me," user @360uncensored tweeted.

"Why is Beyonce still sitting down??? She better get out there," user @plsnotmike tweeted.

Some users defended the couple.

"Beyoncé and Jay-Z aren't the only people sitting down. But since they're African American it's a problem..?" user @xxitsbeaxx tweeted.

"All those other 'Caucasian' celebs and regular people were sitting down too but you want focus on sad.. you will never be Beyonce and never have what she has! Hating will not make you be great!" user @RHCPAPRIL tweeted.

"Trump supporters don't like to be called racists but look at what this guy says about Beyoncé & Jay-Z not standing for the anthem while not saying a damn word about the white people next to them who are also sitting down," user @BritishRaider69 tweeted.

"The same people that are mad that Beyonce was sitting during the national anthem are the same ones that were sitting down on their couches when the national anthem was sung like please direct your anger towards something that matters," user @CMONPUDDN tweeted.

Beyonce, Jay-Z
Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles perform on stage during the "On the Run II" tour opener at Principality Stadium on June 6, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. Kevin Mazur/Getty