When Beyoncé stepped out to perform at Super Bowl 50, the non-controversial entertainer was gone and a new, tough rapping activist voice emerged from the superstar.
Although she had the entire world talking after the performance of new single “Formation,” not everyone was happy.
At one point during Sunday’s performance, Beyoncé and her crew of leather-clad dancers raised their fists – a gesture many interpreted as the salute of the nationalist Black Panthers.
Opal Tometi, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, praised the performance on Twitter, tweeting: “Really appreciative of @Beyonce’s #Formation on #SandraBland #bday.”
The tweet references Sandra Bland, an African American woman who was found hanged in a Texas jail after she was pulled over for a traffic violation.
The Super Bowl was the most watched US television broadcast of the year so far and drew more than 111 million viewers eagerly anticipating the halftime performance that was headlined by British band Coldplay and featuring Queen Bee and Bruno Mars.
Members of the National Sheriffs’ Association, however, was not impressed and turned down the volume before turning their backs on the performance, the group said on their Facebook page.
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is known for his tough stance on crime, also told Fox News Beyoncé should have instilled a sense of respect for police among African American communities instead.
“This is football, not Hollywood,” Giuliani said. “I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive.”