Jay-Z says he and Beyoncé didn’t even realize they were sitting during the national anthem at the Super Bowl

Although we all thought Beyoncé and Jay-Z were paying homage to Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling by staying seated during the national anthem at Super Bowl LIV, it turns out Bey and Jay were simply too distracted to take note of what was happening around them. As a former Super Bowl performer (Bey) and the NFL’s newest “live music entertainment strategist” (Jay), the couple were more focused on the importance of the details unfolding in front of them to notice that everyone else was standing and saluting the flag.

On Tuesday, February 4th, Jay-Z attended a lecture series at Columbia University. Afterward, he sat down for a Q&A session with the students.

When asked why he protested during the national anthem, Jay-Z cleared the air.

“It actually wasn’t—sorry,” Jay said per Page Six. If he meant to protest, he said, “I’d tell you…I’d say, ‘Yes, that’s what I’ve done.’ I think people know that about me.”

He explained that he and Beyoncé arrived shortly before the Super Bowl started. “My wife was with me and so she says to me, ‘I know this feeling right here.’ Like, she’s super-nervous because she’s performed at Super Bowls before. I haven’t.”

Jay noted that he and Bey “immediately jump into artist mode,” adding that he was really only paying attention to the show on a technical level. As head of Roc Nation, the production company behind the halftime show, he was scanning for details: “Did the mic start? Was it too low to start? I had to explain to [the NFL that] as an artist, if you don’t feel the music, you can’t really reach that level.”

Then, the Carters were actually distracted by Demi Lovato and her overall glow—as we all should have been.

“Demi [Lovato] comes out and we’re talking about how beautiful she looked, and how she sounds and what she’s going through, and her life—for her to be on the stage, we were so proud of her," Jay continued. "And then it finished and then my phone rang. And it was like, ‘You know you didn’t...’ I’m like, ‘What?'

Jay also responded to how guilty he felt to put daughter Blue in that position, explaining that he and Bey would never want to direct any negativity her way.

Jay wrapped up his response by stating that he didn’t have to make a silent protest as the man behind the Super Bowl halftime show. Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, the stars of the show, did all the talking.

"If you look at the stage and the artists that we chose—Colombian [Shakira] and Puerto Rican J.Lo—we were making the loudest statement."

He’s absolutely right.

So, false alarm, everyone. Beyoncé and Jay-Z did not mean to make any sort of statement during the national anthem. They were simply too invested in the show to notice they weren’t standing. Now, if you don’t mind, we’re going to watch the halftime show for the hundredth time this week.

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