“I have been in the forefront of this battle longer than most of those voicing their opinions…”
Aunty Gladys Knight says you will put some respeck on her name!
The music icon, dubbed the ‘Empress of Soul,’ lent a royal clapback to detractors who slammed her decision to sing the national anthem at Super Bowl LIII. As we reported here, Knight – much like the game’s Halftime Show performers Travis Scott and Big Boi – was on the receiving end of insults for participating in the NFL-sanctioned event given the league’s longstanding allegations of racially charged offenses (stemming from controversy highlighted by protests performed quarterback Colin Kaepernick).
Once the 74-year-old got wind of the harsh criticism being sent her way for accepting the gig, she took to press to offer some clarification and hush the haters. Look inside:
“I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice,” she wrote. “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.”
“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.”
“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.” [source]