ATLANTA (CelebrityAccess) — Motown legend Gladys Knight took the opportunity afforded by her recently announced role at Super Bowl LIII to seemingly take a subtle poke at former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Knight, who is an Atlanta native and civil rights advocate said in a statement to USA Today on Friday that she felt it was “unfortunate” that the national anthem had been “dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the national anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”
“I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 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 — 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,” Knight continued in the statement.
“No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and cannot be made so by anyone speaking it. I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us,” she concluded.
The NFL announced on Thursday that Night would sing the national anthem ahead of Super Bowl LIII when it takes place in her hometown of Atlanta on February 3rd.