Rihanna calls out CBS for removing her song from NFL broadcast
Last week, TMZ surfaced a video of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice assaulting his then-fiancee Janay in a casino elevator. Though the NFL had initially responded to the incident by suspending Rice for just two games, after the tape’s release, Rice was suspended from the league indefinitely. Additionally, CBS pulled a segment featuring Rihanna’s “Run This Town” from its Thursday Night Football preshow Sept. 11 so that it would have more time to cover the news of Rice’s suspension.
“We thought journalistically and from a tone standpoint, we needed to have the appropriate tone coverage,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said of the decision in a statement. “A lot of the production elements we wanted in the show are being eliminated because of time or tone.”
Despite this explanation, Rihanna still wasn’t happy about the situation. She took to Twitter Tuesday morning to deliver a “f–k you” to CBS: “CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday?” she wrote. “Y’all are sad for penalizing me for this.”
When Rihanna says “for this,” she might be alluding to the fact that she herself is a victim of domestic violence. Some publications have speculated that this is why CBS cut her song from the broadcast; the network denies this, claiming that it simply wanted to make room during the allotted preshow time for Rice coverage, including discussions of violence against women.
But thanks to Rihanna’s Twitter response, CBS has decided not to use her song for the rest of the season. “Beginning this Thursday, we will be moving in a different direction with some elements on our Thursday Night Football open,” a statement reads. “We will be using our newly created Thursday Night Football theme music to open our game broadcast.”