Thursday Night Football Spikes Rihanna Song After Public Clash With Singer

Thursday Night Football RIhanna

CBS is permanently dropping a Jay-Z/Rihanna song from Thursday Night Football‘s opening credits, after Rihanna publicly lambasted the network’s decision to pull the song from last week’s telecast.

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The original concept was for Jay-Z’s “Run This Town,” on which Rihanna is featured, to be sampled during the weekly telecast’s opening theme, serving as a bed beneath narration by actor Don Chaeadle. But for the Sept. 10 kick-off — which came amidst the Ray Rice/domestic abuse controversy — TNF dropped the opening.

CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus explained to Sports Illustrated that “journalistically and from a tone standpoint, we needed to have the appropriate tone and coverage,” though it is also believed that the NFL telecast did not want to risk evoking Rihanna’s own past as a domestic abuse victim.

Rihanna reacted to the decision this Tuesday morning on Twitter, saying, “CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? NO, [F—] you! Y’all are sad for penalizing me for this….. The audacity.”

Shortly thereafter, CBS decided to permanently remove “Run This Town” from the opening, saying that TNF was “moving in a different direction” with its theme music, while Cheadle’s narration and other elements will remain.

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40 Comments
  1. powerturtle90sdudemon says:

    CBS is sooooo stupid for pulling this act

    • SAM says:

      CBS is stupid for dropping an entertainer that publicly and crudely complained about one of her songs not being used for only one week? Their decision not to use Rhianna when wanting to address the recent issues facing the NFL is no different from a network not showing a drama’s episode about a school shooting immediately after a school shooting. Shame on Rhianna for putting her ego ahead of publicizing the real problem of domestic violence.

    • Whatevah says:

      I got the feeling the NFL was trying to be sensitive and Rih in her “classy” way decided to be a b.

    • dude says:

      Uh who’s the dumb one? She just screwed herself out of royalties by being a whiny moron. Sorry love but your dumb song isn’t more important than shedding light on an actual news event.

      • LADY_in_MD says:

        For all you calling her dumb
        It’s not her song it’s a Jay Z some featuring Rhianna so she had no say in the song being used in the first place it was Roc Nation who gave permission so what she is pissed at is her name being brought up continually over this song when it’s not a Rhianna song
        Don’t you think she wants to put that incident behind her any time a domestic violence situation happens her name is brought up how is she suppose to continue on with her life?

        • Joey says:

          If she was only upset about them referring to it as a Rihanna song she would have said that in her tweet, however she only complained about the song being pulled. Sounds like a heckuva lot of butthurt over pulling the song for one week to me.

          • LADY_in_MD says:

            But CBS pulled it and brought her name into the situation along with other media outlets if they just played it and didn’t say anything there wouldn’t be an issue

          • Joey says:

            @LADY_In_MD: It’s up to CBS in how they want to market their product. If they thought a song featuring a rather infamous victim of domestic abuse was in bad taste considering the backlash the NFL is already facing with the Ray Rice situation, that’s their discretion. Rihanna acted like a foolish child in her outburst, and CBS is all the better for having dropped the song entirely.

        • girlinmd says:

          @ Joey
          But they didn’t drop the song just her portion of it they will still play the song but only Jay Z’s lyrics and Don Chedelle speaking over Jay Z’s part.

          I understand that CBS made the decision to drop it but why penalize her for a situation that had nothing to do with her. Just because its a domestic violence situation her name is brought up every time. If she is trying to put it past her why cant CBS?

    • terry says:

      That’s what happens when you have men making decisions. Why pull it and then air it the following week, as if people will forget why you pulled in the first place? Men and their pathetic attempts of covering their azzes is hysterical. Instead of killing it they should have aired it to show the STRENGTH & COURAGE women have to move on.Team Rihanna forever!!!!!

  2. Tran says:

    Let’s face it, Rihanna did had her issues with domestic violence. I really don’t blame CBS about her very negative comments but could this mean that just one season be good enough for Thursday Night Football on CBS?

  3. wrstlgirl says:

    I think pulling it was the right move. If she has issue and clearly she does that wasn’t the way to handle it. Being a victim of abuse herself I would have thought she’d have a better understanding of the situation. Guess not.

    • dude says:

      Riri’s mind is too full of Riri to understand anything else.

    • Linda says:

      Riri’s just being the ‘diva’ that she thinks she is! Serves her right. She should have thought before she posted on Twitter. On the other hand, if CBS hadn’t even mentioned that they pulled the song last week, we’d be none the wiser and there wouldn’t be this issue!!

  4. Amber says:

    It is more about the NFL and how they screwed this up, but we still have another woman who went back to a man who beat her. That was her choice. I think they’re doing the right thing to avoid any kind of backlash all around.

  5. NFLPRNightmare says:

    The NFL could not have handled this entire domestic violence situation worse if it had been trying.

    • John NYC says:

      Well it got that whole “many of the people you’re watching are in the process of getting permanently brain damaged” meme off the front pages for a few days.

      “win” with a small “w”?

  6. Hannah says:

    “though it is also believed that the NFL telecast did not want to risk evoking Rihanna’s own past as a domestic abuse victim.”
    That is sooo stupid. It would only make sense if she was a perpetrator, not a victim. Like we’re going to hide victims of domestic violence so we don’t have to think about their struggles? What?

    • dude says:

      Pretty sure their Ray Rice coverage was about that…a lot more than a Rihanna song is.

    • Yes. It’s “sooo stupid” to refrain from glorifying yet another woman who returned to the arms of her attacker. It is exactly the message we should be sending to young women everywhere.

    • Not so much hiding a victim, as not highlighting a victim who returned to her attacker. The conversation is very controversial. Would CBS look to be siding with the “she forgave him, so it’s okay just like Rihanna” argument? I would think CBS would want to stay out of all it if possible.

  7. JEF says:

    Good for CBS! The diva needs to get over herself. There are more important things in life than her song or her ego.

  8. Drew says:

    First of all, good for CBS. Not just because of the domestic abuse stuff, but just because the music sucks.
    Second, the NFL would probably have no problem with domestic abuse, as long as whoever does it doesn’t get caught. They have people who drive drunk and kill people, and welcome them back as though they’re the victim. It’s a corrupt system that rewards bad behavior, if done properly.
    Third, Rihanna is full of herself. This isn’t news. But she also isn’t a good role model for those who are abused. Why should she be surprised by something like this happening?

    So basically, everyone involved is the bad guy. That is how bad their system is at this point.

  9. Beth says:

    Opening the telecast with Run This Town all like WHOOOO FOOTBALL last week would have indeed been distasteful, regardless of who the song was by. RiRi is being self-involved, at the same time I get why she is defensive about it and felt “penalized.” Her whole situation is uncomfortable because getting back with CB was gross for sure and a bad decision, at the same time they were practically forced apart by their handlers and labels after the ~incident which I think prolonged Rihanna’s feelings for him. If they had stayed together like she wanted they probably would have broke up naturally faster instead of Rihanna carrying a torch for him and getting back together later on. Toxic and/or abusive relationships are a tough habit to break for the people who tend to be attracted to them, unfortunately, and when people around them are the ones to try and break them it rarely seems to stick. So I get why she went back but it is still unfortunate and bad for her image even if it’s not fair because she didn’t do anything WRONG, but she is still judged because of it and thus feels penalized and defensive.

    • If this were a few months, even a year after the incident, I’d understand…but it isn’t. She has had lots of time to reflect upon that horrible time of her life and to receive counseling. A person who has learned from and grown from such an experience would not have reacted like she did.

  10. Sarah T. says:

    Congrats Rihanna, you’re now in full on Kanye-west territory with your ego. Get over yourself. It was ONE week that your song got bumped. If you hadn’t gone on a rant like a child, your collaboration wouldn’t have been bumped completely. Note that Jay didn’t say anything at all and it’s HIS song.

    • SMcMary says:

      That’s a good point about Jay-Z. If anything, he should be the one feeling penalized since it is his song and, as far as I know, has never been linked to any kind of domestic abuse on either side of the equation. Was CBS’s decision overly sensitive and unfair? Perhaps but I do understand why they did it. In this day and age, when you run the risk of alienating anyone, they probably wanted to err on the side of caution. And just on a personal note. I have never been in a abusive relationship before but I feel if I had been, the last organization I’d want to have ties with, in lieu of recent events, is the NFL. I know it’s just a song and she probably was contracted to do it, but I would be secretly relieved if they changed their minds.

  11. Always a class act Rihanna.

  12. 80s says:

    I don’t understand the Rihanna hate. She was clearly the victim in her case. Why penalize her because you can’t see past her victimhood?

  13. Rick Katze says:

    Clearly CBS has the right to decide content.

    That said, the synonym for “CBS” is “stupid.” Stronger words would also be appropriate.

    Unfortunately the way in which she expressed her comments can also be criticized as stupid or worse.

  14. Hayes says:

    So.. she doesn’t get that the song was pulled because they didn’t want a victim of domestic abuse singing the theme song on the night Ray Rice is playing? She really doesn’t get that CBS respects her? I guess she’s too dumb to even respect herself.

  15. Sam says:

    According to TMZ that’s not the full story. Rihanna was upset due to the initial advertising that suggested she was performing in some capacity on Thursday. If you look at the press release that was originally sent out it does look like she was involved in some way other than the NFL/CBS using the song. When they pulled the song it made her look like she had been pulled as a performer rather than just having a prerecorded song pulled. Allegedly Roc Nation called the NFL over the false advert and pulled the NFL’s permissions.

  16. liz says:

    good for Rihanna to call them out on this. CBS was wrong. and stupid

  17. herman1959 says:

    Look, I believe in giving a person a chance, but what professional in her right mind goes on a profane rant on social media and still expects to play with the big boys. Rihanna, PLEASE, grow up and get yourself some help.

  18. KevyB says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if maybe Chris Brown knocked the sense right out of Rihanna. Idiot just needs to shut up and make a good song for the first time in years!