Jordin Sparks didn’t kneel, but that didn’t stop her from sending her own message on Monday night.
The “It Ain’t You” singer, 27, had Bible verses references written on her hands while singing the National Anthem before the Dallas Cowboys took on the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Arizona.
While holding a microphone, the verse ‘Prov. 31: 8-9’ were visible, a reference to the Book of Proverbs, which reads, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Many on social media took the star’s Bible quotes to be taking aim at President Donald Trump for not doing more to support people of color and those struggling in America.
Sparks’ father is nine-year NFL veteran Phillippi Sparks. The singer wasn’t the only star to stand up to the president.
During Monday’s football game in Glendale, the Dallas Cowboys dropped to one knee before standing and locking arms to sing the National Anthem. The Arizona Cardinals did the same.
The team’s owner, Jerry Jones, joined his players in solidarity. Jones had previously donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration committee.
The owner spoke out against the man he backed in a postgame news conference.
“Our players wanted to make a statement about unity and we wanted to make a statement about equality,” Jones told reporters. “They were very much aware that statement, when made or when attempted to be made in and a part of the recognition of our flag, can not only lead to criticism but also controversy.
“It was real easy for everybody in our organization to see that the message of unity, the message of equality was getting, if you will, pushed aside or diminished by the controversy. We even had the circumstances that it was being made into a controversy.”
Grey’s Anatomy actor Jesse Williams questioned the necessity of having the National Anthem in sports during an interview on MSNBC.
“It’s also important to realize this anthem thing is a scam,” he said. “This is not actually part of football. This was invented in 2009 from the government paying the NFL to market military recruitment to get more people to go off and fight wars to die.”
Pharrell Williams got down on two knees as he performed at a charity concert in Charlottesville, supporting a gesture by NFL players who have started kneeling during the national anthem to draw attention to racial injustice.