Rihanna was part of a taped introductory performance for the game. But CBS decided at the last minute to cut it, because of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident.
CBS and NFL reportedly licensed a Jay Z song, “Run This Town,” that featured Rihanna, according to gossip site TMZ.
The network reportedly thought having Rihanna on the show did not set an “appropriate tone” because she, too, had been involved in an incident of domestic violence, although the exact reasons are unclear.
But there is one, obvious, big difference.
Rice, the Baltimore Ravens runningback, was the aggressor. Rihanna was a victim of a beating at the hands of singer Chris Brown. She had no control over her actions.
Having her song used before the game set exactly the right tone, because she was a victim of domestic violence, not a perpetrator. It would have shown there was no stigma to being a victim of domestic violence.
But CBS sent exactly the opposite message.
Rihanna reacted characteristically, after the network apparently tried to make amends.
“CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? NO, F*ck you! Y’all are sad for penalizing me for this,” she Tweeted. “The audacity.”
According to some reports, the network struck back by dropping the song all together. It may not be a stretch to blame it on vindictiveness.
“Beginning this Thursday, we will be moving in a different direction with some elements of our ‘Thursday Night Football’ open,” the Network said in a statement.
“We will be using our newly created Thursday Night Football theme music to open our game broadcast.”
The NFL obviously had a hand in the matter. Now it has one more reason to be embarrassed by the Ray Rice incident.
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