Gladys Knight Wants to Give National Anthem ‘Its Voice’ Back After Kaepernick’s Kneeling

Singer shared her thoughts about her upcoming Super Bowl performance — and her goals for it

Image Credit: Screenshot, YouTube / PAUL ELLIS/Staff/Getty Images

Legendary singer Gladys Knight (pictured above right) will be singing the national anthem at this year’s Super Bowl — and she has a very specific goal for her performance.

“I am here today and on Sunday, February 3, to give the anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good,” Knight said in a public statement about her upcoming performance.

Knight believes too much negativity has surrounded the anthem because of athletes like Colin Kaepernick — who have knelt during the playing or singing of the anthem to make personal political statements.

“I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice. It is unfortunate that our national anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the national anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone,” the 74-year-old singer said.

Knight also said, “I have been in the forefront of this battle longer than most of those voicing their opinions to win the right to sing our country’s anthem on a stage as large as the Super Bowl LIII.”

The Super Bowl will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, which is Knight’s hometown.

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The halftime performers are the band Maroon 5.

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