News that Travis Scott would be performing with Maroon 5 at the Super Bowl first leaked out in December, but three weeks passed before the performance was officially announced. That announcement only came after Scott announced that he and the NFL would donate $500,000 to the nonprofit social justice organization Dream Corps. The move was clearly intended to blunt the criticism Maroon 5 and particularly Scott had received for performing at the game, due largely to the league’s treatment of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has essentially been banished from professional football for taking a knee during the pre-game performances of the national anthem, a move many feel is based in racism.
Scott and Kaepernick had at least one phone conversation before the rapper confirmed his Super Bowl appearance, sources tell Variety. A source close to Scott said that while the two did not necessarily agree, they emerged from the conversation with mutual respect and understanding, with the rapper taking the stance that everyone makes a statement in their own way and he felt that the money going toward Dream Corps, combined with the platform provided by the Super Bowl, will do some good. The source also said that Scott would not confirm his performance until the donation was locked in.