Rihanna was scheduled to perform last week in Baltimore before the Ravens game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but CBS decided to cancel her appearance in the wake of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident. Rihanna was a victim of domestic violence when Chris Brown beat her in 2009. CBS Sports insisted Rihanna’s performance was nixed because the network “needed to have the appropriate tone and coverage,” but we all know why the decision was made.
CBS had also planned to air an opening segment that featured Jay Z’s and Rihanna’s song “Run This Town,” but that idea was also canned. Apparently CBS planned to use the song this Thursday instead, and Rihanna is furious about it.
— Rihanna (@rihanna) September 16, 2014
CBS and the NFL were obviously trying to avoid any additional discussion about domestic violence. That said, you can understand why Rihanna is unhappy about the decision. She was the victim, not the attacker.
UPDATE: Shortly after Rihanna’s rant, CBS announced that it will not use the opening featuring Rihanna going forward.
“Beginning this Thursday, we will be moving in a different direction with some elements of our Thursday Night Football open,” CBS senior vice president of communications Jen Sabatelle said in a statement. “We will be using our newly created Thursday Night Football theme music to open our game broadcast.”