Maroon 5 rocked the house at this year’s Super Bowl, both on and off the field. The group donated $500,000 to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) last Tuesday, right before their Superbowl performance, Billboard reports. A BBBSA spokesperson said that the donation is connected to the NFL’s #InspireChange social justice initiative.
"We believe that all of our nation’s youth need someone who believes in their potential, and we are so honored that the NFL, Interscope Records, and Maroon 5 are supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters of America in our important mission," said Pam Iorio, CEO, and president of BBBSA.
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Big Brothers Big Sisters is the largest volunteer-based mentoring network in the US, matching at-risk youth, some as young as 5, with supportive role models and mentors.
Maroon 5’s donation comes two weeks after Travis Scott, who performed with the band during the Super Bowl halftime show, told Billboard that he and the NFL made a joint $500,000 donation to the Dream Corps, a social justice nonprofit organization.
Both Maroon 5 and Scott have faced criticism for performing at the Super Bowl because of the NFL’s alleged discrimination against former quarterback Colin Kaepernick following his protests against racial inequality. Artists like Cardi B and Rihanna reportedly turned down the offer to perform because of the controversy.
Critics encouraged the Maroon 5 to pull out of the performance as well. Over 100,000 people signed a Change.org petition asking the group to refuse to perform in solidarity with Kaepernick. Some also petitioned for the artists to #TakeAKnee during the performance. However, the band and Scott performed in the show as planned.
“I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in,” Scott previously said in a statement. “I know being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire. So before confirming the Super Bowl halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation. I am proud to support Dream Corps and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change.”
Regardless of the controversy, Maroon 5’s donation will help to connect children in need with support crucial to their success.
"Playing the Super Bowl has been a dream of our band for a long time,” lead singer Adam Levine said to People in a statement. “We thank the NFL for the opportunity and also to them, along with Interscope Records, for making this donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters, which will have a major impact for children across the country.”