Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight did not bite her tongue when asked about Colin Kaepernick’s ongoing National Anthem protest. Gladys agreed to sing the National Anthem before the start of the Super Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Feb. 3.

The seven-time Grammy winner joins a limited Super Bowl lineup that includes rock band Maroon 5, and rappers Travis Scott, Big Boi and Flo Rida, who will perform during halftime.

When asked about the ongoing protests, Gladys told TMZ.

“I have been in the forefront of this battle longer than most of those voicing their opinions to win the right to sing our country’s Anthem on a stage as large as the Super Bowl LIII. It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”

The 74-year-old Atlanta native did say she understood the Black man’s 200-year fight for justice in America, but she will not be intimidated by activists asking her to back out of the Super Bowl.

“I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life. No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and cannot be made so by anyone speaking it. I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us.”

Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem after he was benched by the San Francisco 49ers during the 2016 season.

When reporters questioned him for not standing during the Anthem, he claimed he was protesting the anthem until police stopped killing unarmed Black men.

Kaepernick did not protest the anthem or police brutality prior to being benched.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images