Harry Styles is being urged by fans to cancel a headline appearance at the controversial Super Bowl pre-party later this month.
The ‘Adore You’ singer confirmed on Thursday (January 16) that he’ll perform at Pepsi Zero Sugar’s Super Bowl party in Miami on January 31.
Styles told his fans: “I’m excited to be playing the Pepsi Super Bowl party this year. I hear they’re amazing and I’m looking forward to it. See you in Miami – H.”
But the move has sparked controversy among Styles’ fans – who have urged him to show solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
The former NFL quarterback has not appeared in the league since 2016, after kneeling during the US national anthem in protest against police brutality and racial inequality.
— Natalie (@hrtbrkharry) January 17, 2020
— 𝐈𝐳 #HarryBackOut ✩˚࿐ (@shelovedh) January 17, 2020
Pepsi are a long-standing sponsor of the NFL, sparking calls for Styles to boycott the event.
One fan shared a photo of a Black Lives Matter stick on Styles’ guitar and wrote: “Harry, this sticker isn’t doing enough. Say something. Do something.”
stop defending harry 24/7. it’s okay to call out your idol when they do something wrong. he needs to learn and educate himself. especially because he constantly preaches about love and equality. he needs to act on it as much as he preaches it. #harrybackout
— 𝚜𝚑𝚎 𝚒𝚜 𝚎𝚖𝚖𝚊 𝚐𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚎 #HARRYBACKOUT (@harrysminitaco) January 17, 2020
Another said: “If harry backs out ,,,, y’all that’s such a BIG STATEMENT. Not a lot of artists listen to their fans when we say how we actually feel about important things like these. harry pls pls make us feel HEARD.”
Other fans urged Harry to instead donate the fee of the performance if contractual obligations were to prevent him from dropping out.
In 2017, Pepsi was also accused of co-opting the Black Lives Matter movement for profit.
It showed model Kendall Jenner finishing a photo shoot before handing a can of Pepsi to a police officer who is supervising a protest, seemingly as a goodwill gesture.
This comes after Rihanna revealed she turned down the Super Bowl Half Time show in solidarity, admitting she couldn’t be a “sell-out”.
The 2020 Half Time show will be headlined by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.