More than 40,000 people have signed a petition calling for the band to turn down the controversial gig.
Maroon 5 still haven’t officially confirmed their involvement, amid strong speculation, but a Change.org petition is urging them to step down in solidarity with American football player Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick became a figurehead for protests against racial inequality and injustice in the US after he began kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games during the 2016 season. He alleges that he was blacklisted from NFL teams as a result of his stance.
He has since been chosen as the face of Nike's “Just Do It” campaign, which featured ads with Kaepernick's face and the quote: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres show on 16 November, Levine was asked if the band would headline the halftime show in Atlanta next February.
“What the hell are you talking about? It’s a rumour. I can neither confirm nor deny the truth of this rumour”, Levine responded.
“It’s definitely a rumour. And the rumour’s a rumour that everyone seems to be discussing. It’s the Super Bowl. It’s a great event and there’s gonna be a band performing… or an artist of some kind performing at halftime. And it’s gonna be great, regardless of who it is.”
In October, Amy Schumer urged the Maroon 5 to turn the offer down. Rihanna was also reported to have declined the gig out of support for Kaepernick.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies