Janet Jackson Appreciation Day Storms Twitter on 15th Anniversary of Super Bowl 'Nipplegate'
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Super Bowl LIII Weekend: Celebrity Sightings

Fans storm Twitter for the second year in a row to celebrate the music industry icon who received flak after Justin Timberlake exposed her nipple during the 2004 halftime show.

For most Americans, it's Super Bowl Sunday, but for the faithful it is once again Janet Jackson Appreciation Day.

For the second year in a row, fans got the hashtag trending on social media. And it's certainly no coincidence that Super Bowl Sunday has been chosen for this celebration as this is the 15th anniversary of the infamous halftime show that temporarily derailed her career, while Justin Timberlake suffered no slowdown whatsoever.

It was, we suppose, her nipple that was exposed. But he is the one that exposed it, so there's that. Either way, it appears to have been an accident.

For many, the backlash that Jackson suffered and Timberlake apparently did not is indicative of the systemic racism and sexism of the entertainment industry, but it would have to be far more than just that industry. After all, Jackson was the one the media focused on, she had to release a public apology and many in the public at large turned on her as well.

And so last year -- when Justin played halftime -- her fans tried to spread a message of love and support, and a little bit of revenge, by getting #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay trending worldwide, at one point higher than the Super Bowl itself. And Sunday morning of this year, it was back.

It's a testament to the power of her fanbase and the outrage many still feel in how the aftermath of "Nipplegate" was handled in 2004 that this seems to be on its way to becoming an annual tradition driven entirely by the fans. It says a lot about the goodwill people have toward Jackson, who scored a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for 2019, as well as their growing frustration with the NFL.

This new "holiday," as it were, emerged shortly after the league began receiving criticism for its handling of former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has not been signed to a team since the controversy that erupted in 2016 over his kneeling during the national anthem in protest of system racism in law enforcement.

That protest got misconstrued by the president and many in the conservative media as a statement somehow against the American military, and the American flag. As other players began to kneel or show their support for Kaepernick in other ways, tensions rose between the NFL and the liberal public with cries of racism emerging over Kaepernick's effective blacklisting from the league.

As that situation continues to permeate through the league -- evidenced by the celebrities who have said they refused to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show and the negative reaction Maroon 5 has endured for agreeing to perform this year.

The #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay hashtag itself remains mostly positive and supportive. It is simply a declaration of love for Janet Jackson, with a little bit of shade thrown in to boot.

Below is just a sampling of what was happening on social media Sunday morning:

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