Colin Kaepernick may not have been one of the players on the field at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, but the protest movement he started nearly four years ago continued at Super Bowl LIV.
When players and fans in the stands stood for the national anthem ahead of kickoff in Miami, Beyoncé, 38, JAY-Z and their 8-year-old daughter Blue Ivy notably remained seated, PEOPLE confirms, continuing Kaepernick’s legacy to raise awareness of racism and police brutality in the United States.
Beyoncé shared photos from the game on Instagram, wearing a green suit with white heels. She also posted an image of Blue Ivy jumping while on the football field.
The superstar couple’s decision to sit during Demi Lovato’s performance, which was first reported by TMZ, comes about six months after JAY-Z, 50, signed a deal with the NFL.
As reported by The New York Times, the deal brought the rapper on as a “live music entertainment strategist” through his company Roc Nation.
He made a point at the time to express his interest in bringing change to the organization with a push for inclusivity.
“The NFL has a great big platform, and it has to be all-inclusive,” he told the Times of agreeing to work with the NFL and its activism arm, Inspire Change. “They were willing to do some things, to make some changes, that we can do some good.”
TMZ also reported that JAY-Z and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had spoken with Kaepernick ahead of the deal, and that its goals transcended the protests.
“I think that we forget that Colin’s whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice so in that case this is a success — this is the next thing,” JAY-Z said, per TMZ. “There’s two parts of protest: the protest, and then there’s a company or individual saying ‘I hear you, what do we do next?’ For me it’s about actionable items, what are we gonna do about it?”
Kaepernick first knelt in protest during the preseason while he was the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers — who are playing in Sunday’s Super Bowl — in 2016.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he told NFL Media after that game, in which the Northern California team lost to the Green Bay Packers. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
And while the NFL released a statement at the time that said players are “encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem,” Kaepernick left the Niners in March 2017 and has not played in the NFL since.