Rihanna Was Right to Tell Off CBS Over Thursday Night Football Decision

Singer has displayed a lot more integrity than the NFL has.


There is nothing that is — or perhaps can be — written about Rihanna without talking about the events that transpired on Grammy night in 2009. Similarly, there is rarely mention of Tina Turner without an acknowledgment of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband Ike. Domestic violence leaves a mark long after the bruises fade — and usually on the reputation of the abused.

The NFL’s reputation is taking its own beating, first with the release of the video capturing Ray Rice’s violent physical assault against his then-fiancée, next the child abuse allegations against Adrian Peterson. In efforts to demonstrate some long-absent self-awareness, CBS opted out of the network’s planned opening sequence, which included a song by Rihanna. It can be argued that the network opted to refit the opener with a more appropriately somber tone, though CBS executive Sean McManus did point to the singer’s previous bouts as a domestic violence victim as part of the deciding factor to pull the song last week.

True to form, Rihanna took to Twitter to express her displeasure:

The network has since decided to pull Rihanna’s song from broadcasts for the remainder of the season.

Some may say that Rihanna’s tweet cut off her nose to spite her face. I think it’s commendable that a woman so young, so visible, and with so much to lose, would push so hard and deliberately against the sacred American institution of football in an effort to remove the shroud of silence that cloaks so many women who have suffered domestic violence.

Remember that Rihanna was a potential contender to perform at this year’s Super Bowl. While some may focus on the profanity in her tweet, what’s admirable is its integrity, something that the NFL needs in droves. Unfortunately for the league, integrity can’t be bought, as Rihanna so succinctly demonstrates.

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