“Rihanna was the front-runner for next year’s super bowl halftime show," a source tells ET. "CBS and the NFL reached out to Rihanna first, who after thinking about the offer, decided to pass due to the NFL and the situation regarding players kneeling."
According to the source, the "Love On the Brain" singer "stands with the players and Colin Kaepernick."
"The offer and exposure would have been great for Rihanna as she’s planning a new album and tour but she stuck to what’s right in her eyes," the source adds.
Us Weekly was the first to report that Rihanna had turned down performing at the Super Bowl.
However, a second source involved in the conversations says that the NFL approached both Rihanna and Pink -- who was tasked with singing the National Anthem ahead of Super Bowl LII back in February -- to perform at halftime early on, but because the negotiations took so long, both women decided to move on.
The source adds that Kaepernick was not mentioned in those early discussions.
In September, a source close to the NFL told ET that Maroon 5 had signed on for the incredibly high-profile gig at Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3, 2019. However the NFL, Pepsi and Maroon 5 reps would not comment and no formal announcement has been made.