"The biggest gig in the game, right?”
Adam Levine in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday responded to criticism for accepting the invitation to perform at the Super Bowl this year when several others turned it down in support of NFL anthem kneeler Colin Kaepernick.
Levine, the lead singer of Maroon 5, said that he would not be "in the right profession if I can't handle a bit of controversy."
"It is what it is," he said.
Levine added, "We would like to move on from it and speak through the music."
He also said that he "spoke to many people" as he mulled over the decision but "most importantly, though, I silenced the noise and listened to myself, and made my decision about how I felt."
"No one thought about it more than I did. No one put more thought and love into this than I did," said Levine.
On Tuesday, the NFL announced the cancellation of the traditional pre-game news conference with the performers, saying that “the artists will let their show do the talking as they prepare to take the stage this Sunday.”
Asked what the deal was, Levine responded, “You would have to speak to them.”
He did say that those who are calling for the NFL and the Super Bowl to speak out on social injustice “will be [heard].”
“That's all I want to say because I don't want to spoil anything," said Levine. "I like to think that people know where I stand as a human being after two decades of doing this. So, what I would say is, you know, we are going to keep on doing what we do, hopefully without becoming politicians to make people understand, 'We got you.'"
Maroon 5 faced backlash from fans and celebrities for accepting the invitation to perform at the Super Bowl LIII halftime show in Atlanta. More than 47,000 people even signed a petition back in November demanding that the band drop out of the show.
Artists who reportedly turned down the invite include Rihanna and Cardi B, however the rapper is rumored to be joining Maroon 5 on stage for their song “Girls Like You.”
Rapper Travis Scott has agreed to take the stage with Maroon 5 this Sunday, but on the condition that they made a joint donation to a charitable cause.
"The rapper made a $500,000 contribution to Dream Corps, a non-profit organization that champions social justice," WCVB reports.