The legendary singer quickly tweeted a note to followers, wishing them a “Happy Colin Kaepernick Appreciation Day”.
Mariah sent her tweet just moments after Super Bowl viewers saw an advertisement from the NFL’s Inspire Change campaign.
The clip emphasised the importance of social justice, and included footage of the ongoing national protests against police brutality and racial inequality, alongside snapshots of players wearing the names of victims of police brutality on their helmets and kneeling on the field.
The ad – which appeared to have the primary intention of reminding the public that the NFL said last year it would “commit a quarter of a billion dollars over 10 years to a fund to combat systemic racism and support the battle against injustices faced by African Americans” – struck a chord with viewers who immediately noted the hypocrisy.
Many people mentioned Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who notably knelt during the performance of the national anthem in protest of racial injustice and police brutality, and said he was owed an apology for being effectively blacklisted from the NFL after opting out of his contract with the 49ers in 2017. He has not played professionally since.
Soon, Kaepernick’s name was trending on Twitter:
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke about Kaepernick last week.
“I said very clearly back in June that we wish we had listened to our players earlier, and we had a lot of players that were coming and bringing these issues to us,” Goodell said at a press conference, per The Mercury News.
“It didn’t start last summer; it started over two years ago and we’ve been working with the Players Coalition over that period of time.”
He went on to call Kaepernick “one of the individuals who obviously brought a great deal of attention to this, and, for that, he deserves our recognition for that and appreciation”.
After her tweet about Kaepernick, Mariah also showed her support for Janet Jackson, who came under fire after a “wardrobe malfunction” during her Super Bowl Half-Time Show performance back in 2004.
In the years since the incident, many have pointed out the double standard between how Janet and Justin Timberlake’s careers were affected by the scandal, despite them both being involved in the performance.
Janet had her performance at the 2004 Grammys – which took place just seven days after the Super Bowl – unceremoniously dropped shortly after the incident.
Meanwhile, Justin not only performed during the show but took home Album Of The Year, even cracking a joke about the Super Bowl during his acceptance speech.