Update (January 31, 2019): The Mothers of The Movement will not speak at Jermaine Dupri’s Super Bowl Live event.
The group initially agreed to speak during a meeting with Dupri and Atlanta-based activists two weeks ago. The organization changed its mind after viewing a video of Dupri at a Waffle House with the Lombardi Trophy, reports WXIA.
Attorney Gerald Griggs released a statement on the group’s behalf:
"In response to Mr. Dupri’s Instagram photo where he is seated comfortably in a Waffle House with the Lombardi Super Bowl trophy, the Mothers of the Movement respectfully decline the use of his platform. In April of 2018, 25-year-old Chikesia Clemons was tackled down on a Waffle House floor exposing her breasts. Last year, Former NFL QB Colin Kaepernick lost his job for taking a knee, a peaceful protest, against police brutality in Black communities. It is only January 30, 2019, and there have already been 56 people killed by police in America, including 21-year-old Jimmy Atchison in historic southwest Atlanta. The father of two was shot in the face. He was unarmed.
On January 5, 2019, the Mothers of the Movement and Atlanta Activists sat down with Jermaine Dupri to express why boycotting the NFL was essential to the Black community. At the end of the meeting, all parties had agreed that the mothers would speak during JD’s concert to raise awareness about the unnecessary police violence and brutality in the Black community. We refuse to stand alongside any individual who does not have the best interest of our community in mind.”
Dupri has not responded to the announcement.
Original: Jermaine Dupri will use his platform for social justice during his Super Bowl Live events.
The famed producer was accused of selling out when he agreed to curate a week of events leading up to the big game. Despite the backlash, the show will go on, and now Dupri says he plans to provide a space for relatives of people who were killed by the police to tell their stories at each event, reports Billboard.
“I met with the families and parents who have been killed and murdered by police officers here,” he said. “I plan on having them come to my Super Bowl Live event and speak to the crowd and tell their story about police brutality in the city and let people understand that I’m supporting them as much as possible.”
Dupri also said he supports Colin Kaepernick and the #TakeAKnee movement but felt it was his responsibility to use the platform provided by the Super Bowl to uplift Atlanta's artists.
“If we were to completely turn our head to what’s happening Super Bowl weekend and have nothing to do with it, and stand with Kaepernick and completely boycott, what about our love and our craft that we care so much about?” he said. “It’s a rough situation, because you want to support both sides.”
The “Welcome to Atlanta” artist’s opinion isn't one shared by many of his peers. Several artists have reportedly refused to participate, including Rihanna, Jay-Z and Cardi B, due to the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick.
Dupri isn’t the only artist who has caught heat for agreeing to participate in Super Bowl-related festivities, however. As Blavity reported, rapper Travis Scott was widely criticized for agreeing to perform at halftime with headliner Maroon 5, and Jay-Z reportedly tried, unsuccessfully, to talk him out of performing.
T.I. went so far as to imply Scott was being selfish when he agreed to perform.
"I think every man have an opportunity ... he can make a decision for himself, or he could be selfless. And, nobody can tell someone when to be selfless,” T.I. told TMZ when asked about Scott's performance. "That's every man's right to choose that moment for themselves. So, if this ain't something that he wanted to be selfless about, hopefully in the future we'll see other moments where he will. You dig?"
Like Dupri, Scott used his work with the NFL as a chance to do good. The “Sicko Mode” rapper refused to perform unless the NFL donated to a social justice organization, Blavity reported. Scott's agreement with the league resulted in a $500,000 gift to Dream Corps, a criminal justice organization founded by Van Jones.
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