ATLANTA (WTVF) — Normally during Super Bowl week the media center’s largest auditorium will get packed for a press conference featuring that year’s halftime entertainers. But Thursday in Atlanta the Thomas Murphy Ballroom sat empty after Maroon 5 canceled this year’s press conference.
Some think the band’s move came after receiving backlash over their decision to perform at the Super Bowl when other artists would not. But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the decision to cancel the press conference was more about keeping up with the times than not wanting to answer the critics.
“We have all looked at how the world is changing,” Goodell said Wednesday at his annual state of the NFL press conference. “And for us and for particularly our artists, in this case, one of the things they really wanted to do is to use the opportunities that we all have to be able to reach their fans directly.
Maroon 5 was a controversial selection for the halftime show after Rihanna turned the performance down in a show of support for former NFL Quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick.
Despite a petition of nearly 50,000 signatures asking them to pull out of the show Maroon 5 continues to show fans on social media sneak peaks at what will be the biggest performance of their lives.
“We think it’s creative, we think its innovative and we support that,” Goodell said.
When asked if he’s concerned over the NFL’s current relationship with artists over its handling of the Kaepernick controversy, Goodell insisted there’s no problem.
“We have 200 million fans,” Goodell said. “This is the largest stage in the world and I think plenty of artists want to be a part of that.”