Now Trending: CBS pulls Rihanna song from all NFL games after her angry tweet
Football and music fans, take note: The breakup between Rihanna and CBS is now official.
The network announced late Tuesday that it was “permanently editing” a song featuring the Barbadian pop star’s hook out of its Thursday Night Football broadcasts.
Last week, the network removed Rihanna’s distinctive musical hook from the Jay Z song Run This Town, which was originally supposed to play in the network’s pregame show for the game between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers.
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The reason for the removal: Baltimore player Ray Rice had just been handed an indefinite ban from professional football after shocking video of him assaulting his wife in a hotel elevator went public.
CBS cut the segment for fear of how having a song featuring a domestic abuse survivor – Rihanna was infamously assaulted by former boyfriend Chris Brown in 2009 – would be perceived by viewers.
At the time, CBS Sports president Sean McManus said the singer’s history as a domestic violence victim was part of the reason they pulled the song, but not the overriding one.
“It’s important to realize we are not overreacting to this story but it is as big a story has faced the NFL,” McManus told Sports Illustrated.
But CBS’s plans to use Run This Town during this Thursday’s NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons – as well as on Thursday broadcasts for the rest of the NFL season – hit a bump yesterday when Rihanna tweeted, “CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? No, F–k you! Y’all are sad for penalizing me for this.”
Rihanna followed up a few hours later with a tweet that said simply, “The audacity….”
On Tuesday night, CBS responded by issuing a statement saying it was “moving in a different direction” with different theme music for the pregame show but declined to name the song or the artist.