On Thursday, Levine, 39, told Entertainment Tonight that he understood the ramifications of performing at halftime in light of the NFL protests against police brutality, which Kaepernick, 31, spearheaded with his silent kneeling during the national anthem.
“No one thought about it more than I did,” Levine said of the decision to take the Super Bowl stage. “No one put more thought and love into this than I did. … I spoke to many people, most importantly though, I silenced all the noise and listened to myself, and made my decision about how I felt.”
He added that those who feel unheard “will be [heard] — that’s all I want to say because I don’t want to spoil anything. And once again, I like to think that people know where I stand as a human being after two decades doing this. I’m not a speaker. I’m not a public speaker. I do speak, but it’s through the music. My life’s work and what I put out into the universe has been positive and hopefully inspiring.”
“So, what I would say is,” Levine continued, “You know, we are going to do what we keep on doing, hopefully without becoming politicians and continuing to use the one voice we know how to use properly, to make people understand, ‘We got you.'”
That explanation wasn’t enough for Kaepernick’s attorney Mark Geragos.
“If you’re going to cross this idealogical or intellectual picket line, then own it, and Adam Levine certainly isn’t owning it,” Geragos fumed on “Good Morning America” on Friday. “It’s a cop-out when you start talking about, ‘I’m not a politician; I’m just doing the music.’ Most of the musicians who have any kind of consciousness whatsoever understand what’s going on here.”
“Colin took a knee in a very deferential way to express what he sees as systemic oppression and racism in America,” Geragos added, :He has been blackballed because of that.”
Several stars, including past Maroon 5 collaborators Cardi B and Rihanna, declined to perform the Super Bowl Halftime Show in solidarity with Kaepernick, while others stars, including Amy Schumer, called for artists to boycott the NFL.
Travis Scott and OutKast rapper Big Boi are set to take the stage with Maroon 5 at the Super Bowl, despite Jay-Z allegedly trying to talk Scott out of performing.