"I got to sacrifice a lot of money to perform," Cardi explains. "But there's a man who sacrificed his job for us, so we got to stand behind him."
In an interview with the Associated Press on Friday, the Grammy-nominated rapper opened up about being offered the lucrative gig and the "mixed feelings" she felt about turning it down.
"My husband, [Offset] he loves football," she said. "His kids play football. It's really hard for him. ... He really wants to go to the Super Bowl, but he can't go to the Super Bowl, because he's got to stand for something."
"You have to sacrifice that," she continued. "I got to sacrifice a lot of money to perform. But there's a man who sacrificed his job for us, so we got to stand behind him."
Kaepernick sparked a wave of protests and political firestorm when he first knelt during the national anthem back in 2016 to raise awareness against racial inequality, police brutality and other social issues.
Cardi, who will appear in a Pepsi Super Bowl commercial alongside Lil Jon and Steve Carell and is hosting a party this week, also spoke about the criticism surrounding her and other artists participating in Super Bowl-related events. Last year, Cardi told TMZ that she wouldn't perform at the big game until Kaepernick was offered a job.
"I hear people saying like 'Oh, y'all are saying all this stuff about the Super Bowl, but you're doing all these parties,'" she said. "And it's like, well, if the NFL could benefit off from us, then I'm going to benefit off y'all. Y'all make the most money off our people. Why am I not going to take advantage of y'all and take money from y'all too? Because of y'all, we are getting these parties. OK, thank you."
The "Bodak Yellow" singer told the publication that she hopes Kaepernick's influence will create "positive change," especially under Donald Trump's administration.
"We got an arrogant president, and the racism right now has been reborn," she said. "They feel mighty brave nowadays. When Obama was around, I just feel like they were praying on the day when his eight years was over. A lot of jealousy."
"When they see (how) the choices they made due to racism has affected the country, that's when things are going to start changing," she continued. "Right now, they don't want to accept that their decision has affected the country."
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