When news first popped up that Maroon 5 was going to be performing at the Superbowl Halftime Show, people got excited. On top of it all, they promised to perform Sweet Victory from SpongeBob Squarepants. Who could ask for more? The NFL could, apparently.
Not only was Maroon 5 not the NFL’s first pick, they were much further down the list. Reportedly, Rihanna was asked first to perform. She decided to turn them down to remain in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, who has not played a game since March of 2017. After Rihanna turned the NFL down, P!nk was asked if she would perform. She also turned them down due to the lengthy negotiation process. Third in the list was pop singer Cardi B. Much like Rihanna, she said she would not perform in the Super Bowl until Kaepernick had a job. That left Maroon 5.
The band agreed to perform if the NFL would help them make a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Their donation wound up totaling $500,000 according to ET Online. Maroon 5 also wanted guest appearances, preferably by artists of color, to supplement their show. Rappers Big Boi and Travis Scott agreed to perform after other artists said no. Travis Scott also struck a deal with the NFL, having them donate another $500,000 to Dream Corps.
A lot of the popular controversy happened when Maroon 5 introduced the beginning of Sweet Victory, but then brought out Travis Scott for “Sicko Mode.” Fans of the iconic cartoon were less than pleased. The question arises, however, if Maroon 5 actually said they would officially play Sweet Victory or not.
The band posted many tweets teasing the song and fans began a petition which gained over 1 million signatures asking them to perform it at the halftime show. The petition started after news that SpongeBob creator, Stephen Hillenburg, had passed away. The stadium teased clips of Sweet Victory, and Travis Scott’s newest album cover supposedly resembles Bikini Bottom. While it did not happen, and fans were incredibly disappointed by Adam Levine’s attempt to remedy the situation, perhaps it was better that the song was not performed.