Atlanta, GA – Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s attorney called Adam Levine of Maroon 5 a “cop out” for playing halftime at Super Bowl LIII without openly supporting protesters.
The rebuke came after Adam Levine said on Thursday morning ahead of the big game that he wasn’t letting the criticism get to him.
"When you look back on every single Super Bowl halftime show, people just can't — it's this, like, insatiable urge to hate a little bit," Levin told Entertainment Tonight. "I'm not in the right profession if I can't handle a little bit of controversy. It's what it is. We expected it. We would like to move on from it, and like, I said earlier, speak through the music."
Cardi B, Pink, and Rihanna declined to perform at the Super Bowl in solidarity with Kaepernick, who spearheaded the kneeling against police brutality when he was still playing for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, FOX News reported.
The former quarterback became a free agent after that season and has not been picked up by another team in the National Football League (NFL).
Despite attempts by social justice warriors to bully singers from participating in the 2019 halftime show, Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi from OutKast all performed on Sunday night.
Gladys Knight was also a target of derision after she agreed to sing the National Anthem at the start of the game.
Ahead of the game, Levine and Scott partnered with the NFL to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Dream Corps, respectively.
The artists each donated $500,000 to their chosen organizations in partnership with their record labels, ABC News reported.
"Playing the Super Bowl has been a dream of our band for a long time," Levine said. "We thank the NFL for the opportunity and also to them, along with Interscope Records, for making this donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters, which will have a major impact for children across the country."
Levine defended his decision to participate in the event despite a petition signed by 113,000 fans, the Daily Mail reported.
"No one thought about it more than I did," Levine told Entertainment Tonight. "No one put more thought and love into this than I did... I spoke to many people, most importantly though, I silenced all the noise and listened to myself, and made my decision about how I felt."
Levine previously appeared in a video with other celebrities saying that police kill black people for no reason.
In the video, Levine said that Jamar Clark was shot by police for attending a birthday party.
Jamar Clark was shot after police tried to arrest him during a confrontation with paramedics. He resisted arrest and grabbed an officer's gun before he was shot.
Local activists later claimed that Clark was laying on the ground handcuffed when police executed him for no reason, despite 10 paramedic and law enforcement witnesses who said otherwise.
The singer said he took the environment into consideration while planning his Super Bowl performance.
"I think we wanted to make sure we were able to speak once again through the music, so yes, absolutely, once we processed these things, it took a lot of looking inward and introspection and I thought to myself, 'What is my greatest tool, you know, what is the thing that I can use to express myself... the best way for the band to express themselves, and how are we going to do it this year? What do we owe ourselves, what do we owe the people?'" Levin told Entertainment Tonight. "And that is what we did, and I am beyond proud of the finished product, and literally never, never been more excited in my entire life to present this to the people because I believe that it's truly a reflection of all of us."
But Kaepernick’s attorney wasn’t satisfied with Levine’s explanation.
"If you're going to cross this ideological or intellectual picket line, then own it, and Adam Levine certainly isn't owning it," Mark Geragos ranted on Friday on “Good Morning America.”
"It's a cop-out when you start talking about, 'I'm not a politician; I'm just doing the music.' Most of the musicians who have any kind of consciousness whatsoever understand what's going on here,” Geragos continued.
"Colin took a knee in a very deferential way to express what he sees as systemic oppression and racism in America. He has been blackballed because of that,” the attorney said.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell denied any collusion between teams to keep Kaepernick out of the league at a press conference on Wednesday.
“Our clubs are the ones that make decisions on players they want to have on their roster. They make that decision individually in the best interests of their team,” Goodell said.