Gladys Knight slammed for accepting Super Bowl gig: 'You're too old not to know better'

“Atlanta, I’m coming home!” Gladys Knight took to social media Thursday to announce she’ll be singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl on Feb. 3. In light of the backlash over NFL players taking a knee, the homecoming announcement of the singer of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” has unleashed some negative reactions.

“I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta,” the seven-time Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee said in a statement, adding, “the NFL recently announced their new social justice platform Inspire Change, and I am honored to be a part of its inaugural year.” Knight will be the warm-up before Maroon 5’s big halftime show featuring Travis Scott and Big Boi.

After the announcement, one Twitter commenter wrote, “Gladys Knight is now against Colin Kaepernick,” a reference to the former 49ers quarterback, who refused to stand during the national anthem in protest of injustices against African Americans and minorities in the United States, and who has been out of job since 2017. This naysayer is hardly alone in his opinion.

Here are some of the other early Twitter reactions to Knight’s gig.

There were similar, if not harsher comments, on her Instagram post. One commenter asked the star if she was “broke or blind” for agreeing to the job. “You know they only want a token to take the focus off their racism right?” Another called her decision “truly disappointing,” and she was also accused of being a “sellout.”

 

Knight was also asked to rethink her decision or “end up on the midnight train to canceled.”

Knight has been getting love too — after all, she’s a music legend, rising to fame with the Pips in the 1960s. Some of the comments made no mention of the controversy — for instance: “Excellent Choice. Love her!” and “Yes Atlanta royalty” as well as “We’re so glad to have you back home! And in some cases, there was excitement and congratulations over the news — but with the hope that she will somehow show respect to Kaepernick while she’s there.

Some are just protective of Knight.

The choice of Super Bowl performers this year has been nonstop drama. Maroon 5 was bashed for agreeing to the do the halftime show after Rihanna and others turned it down out of respect for Kaepernick. While there were reports that Scott had been given the OK from Kaepernick to perform, Kaepernick made it clear that was not the case.

The Super Bowl will be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Feb. 3.

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Gladys Knight and the Pips
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Gladys Knight and the Pips
THE GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS SHOW -- Air Date 07/17/1975 -- Pictured: (l-r) The Pips: William Guest, Eddie Patten, Merald 'Bubba' Knight, Gladys Knight -- Photo by: Paul W. Bailey/NBCU Photo Bank
THE GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS SHOW -- Air Date 07/17/1975 -- Pictured: (l-r) The Pips: William Guest, Eddie Patten, Merald 'Bubba' Knight, Gladys Knight -- Photo by: Paul W. Bailey/NBCU Photo Bank
THE GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS SHOW -- Air Date 07/17/1975 -- Pictured: (l-r) The Pips: Eddie Patten, William Guest, Merald 'Bubba' Knight, Gladys Knight, Jimmie Walker -- Photo by: Paul W. Bailey/NBCU Photo Bank
UNITED STATES - APRIL 15: AMERICAN BANDSTAND - 'Show Coverage' 1981 Gladys Knight and the Pips (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
Singer Gladys Knight and The Pips attending 12th Annual American Music Awards on January 28, 1985 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
AMERICAN BANDSTAND - 'Show Coverage' - Airdate March 7, 1985. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) DICK CLARK;GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Gladys KNIGHT and Gladys KNIGHT & The Pips (Photo by RB/Redferns)
IN CONCERT - Shoot Date: August 27, 1973. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS
THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL -- Episode 11 -- Pictured: Gladys Knight (right) & the Pips (Photo by Paul W. Bailey/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 14: Photo of Gladys KNIGHT and Gladys KNIGHT & The Pips; Performing on the Harry Secombe Show -, (Photo by Echoes/Redferns)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1967: 1967, New York, New York City, Gladys Knight and the Pips, L-R: William Guest, Edward Patten, Merald Bubba Knight, Gladys Knight. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Gladys KNIGHT & The Pips and Gladys KNIGHT and Edward PATTEN and Bubba KNIGHT and William GUEST; Posed studio group portrait L-R Edward Patten, Gladys Knight, Bubba Knight and William Guest (Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: (AUSTRALIA OUT) Photo of Gladys KNIGHT & The Pips; Dancing (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Gladys Knight & Pips (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
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