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Beyoncé, Jay-Z remain seated during Super Bowl national anthem

The decision, an apparent nod to former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, came just months after Jay-Z partnered with the NFL.
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Jay-Z, Beyonce and their daughter, Blue Ivy, watch Super Bowl 54 between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020.Kyle Terada / USA TODAY Sports

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By Julian Shen-Berro

As Demi Lovato sang the national anthem before the Super Bowl on Sunday, one notable family stayed in their seats: Beyoncé, Jay-Z and their 8-year old daughter, Blue Ivy.

TMZ posted the video Sunday of the celebrity couple at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, where the San Francisco 49ers played the Kansas City Chiefs. The video showed several people standing during "The Star-Spangled Banner" and just as many sitting.

Jay-Z, a co-producer of the halftime show featuring Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, and his Roc Nation company entered a partnership with the NFL for events and social activism last year. The rapper was criticized since he had become one of the biggest supporters of Colin Kaepernick, the ex-49ers quarterback who sparked a fissure in the NFL when he decided to kneel during the national anthem to protest the killings of blacks by police officers.

Jay-Z's response was that he still supports protesting, kneeling and Kaepernick but that he's also interested in working with the league to make substantial changes.

Representatives for Jay-Z and Beyoncé didn't immediately reply to emails from The Associated Press seeking comment about their decision to remain seated during the anthem.

Roc Nation also agreed to consult with the NFL on its activism campaign, "Inspire Change."

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In an interview with The New York Times last week, Jay-Z said he could live with the criticism if it meant an opportunity to create change.

"As long as real people are being hurt and marginalized and losing family members, then yes, I can take a couple rounds of negative press," he said.

Kaepernick, 32, began his pregame protest in 2016, his last season in the league.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media at the time, adding that to him, "this is bigger than football."

His protest gained further attention after President Donald Trump said at a rally in 2017 that players should be fired for taking a knee during the national anthem. The president also claimed credit for keeping Kaepernick out of the league.