By Samantha Cooney
January 18, 2017
MOTTO
Samantha Cooney is the content strategy editor at TIME.

The NFL denied reports that it asked Lady Gaga to avoid talking politics at the Super Bowl, CNN reported.

Entertainment Tonight quoted an anonymous source saying that Gaga, who publicly campaigned for Hillary Clinton and isn’t shy about her distaste for President-elect Donald Trump, would be barred from bringing up Trump and politics during her Super Bowl Halftime Show performance.

The NFL denied those claims in a sharply-worded statement sent to CNN, and made a point to assert that the game, which had over 111 million viewers last year, is about unity. “It’s false,” Natalie Ravitz, senior vice president of communications for the NFL, told CNN. “This is unsourced nonsense from people trying to stir up controversy where there is none. The Super Bowl is a time when people really come together. Lady Gaga is focused on putting together an amazing show for fans and we love working with her on it; we aren’t going to be distracted by this.”

Last year, Beyonce’s used the Super Bowl platform to send a strong message about police brutality and racism, complete with dancers clad in outfits that paid homage to the Black Panther Party. While her performance garnered praise, some critics — including Rudy Giuliani — interpreted the show as anti-police.

[CNN]

Write to Samantha Cooney at samantha.cooney@time.com.

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