This year, soul music legend and Atlanta native Gladys Knight sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl. After her performance, CNN anchor Don Lemon wanted to know if she thought doing so would negatively impact her career.
“For me, it’s just for me about respect,” Knight said. “I’m just hoping it will be about our country and how we treat each other and being the great country that we are.”
Mark Geragos, the attorney for former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, accused performers of “crossing an intellectual picket line” to perform at Sunday’s game and “caring more about [their] career” than about doing what is right.
Knight told Lemon that “people are going to have their opinions about whatever” and that all she can do is “what her heart says.”
“You do have to stand up for what is right and what is right for others,” Knight said. “I just want them to know that we have a country that’s worth standing up for. Nothing good comes easy and I would hope that they will understand as I do that we have a better way to do this than to be all angry.”
Knight’s performance was devoid of politics and widely praised by fans and politicians alike.