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Rihanna gave another rare interview, this time to Vogue magazine, where she spoke about her relationship with her billionaire boyfriend Hassan Jameel (without naming him by name, as is her style) and confirmed for the first time that the rumors were true: She did get offered the chance to play this year’s Super Bowl halftime show in 2018, and she did turn it down for political reasons, to show solidarity for Colin Kaepernick.
RiRi’s comments about her love life were brief and to the point. “Yeah, I’m dating,” she told the outlet. “I’m actually in an exclusive relationship for quite some time, and it’s going really well, so I’m happy.” Rihanna and Jameel, a Saudi businessman, have been together for the last two years. She also confirmed that she wants kids, “without a doubt.”
Vogue‘s update adds to what Rihanna has said before about Jameel. The singer told Sarah Paulson earlier this year for Interview magazine that “of course” she was in love with Jameel. When asked whether she was getting married by Paulson, Rihanna replied, “Only god knows that, girl. We plan and god laughs, right?”
Rihanna was much more forthcoming when Vogue‘s reporter got her to talk about why she turned down the Super Bowl halftime show to stand with Kaepernick. (For context: Kaepernick, a former NFL quarterback, refused to take the knee during the National Anthem in protest against systemic racism in 2016. He lost his position on his team the next year and was not draft by any other NFL team despite his promise as a player. In 2017, he filed a collusion grievance against the NFL, alleging the organization helped blackball him. He wrote that “athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation.”)
First of all, Rihanna confirmed she “absolutely” refused the NFL’s offer. Originally, it had just been reported by a Us Weekly source last October that “the NFL and CBS really wanted Rihanna to be next year’s performer in Atlanta. They offered it to her, but she said no because of the kneeling controversy. She doesn’t agree with the NFL’s stance.”
Rihanna explained her reasoning explicitly to Vogue: “I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”