JC Chasez is blowin’ up at the NFL.
The ’NSYNC singer attacked the league on Thursday (February 5) for calling his music inappropriate and has responded by refusing to sing the national anthem at Sunday’s Pro Bowl all-star football game.
Chasez was also scheduled to perform at halftime, but the NFL pulled the plug Wednesday in light of Janet Jackson’s breast-exposing Super Bowl performance (see “Justin ’Appalled’ By Super Bowl Incident; NFL Nixes JC Appearance” ).
“While I agree the mishap at the Super Bowl was a huge mistake, the NFL’s shallow effort to portray my music as sexually indecent brings to mind another era when innocent artists were smeared with a broad brush by insecure but powerful people,” Chasez said in a statement. “That’s not the America I love. Nor is this the NFL I love. I’ll sing the national anthem anytime, anywhere, but not for this NFL.”
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told MTV News Wednesday the league took a hard look at what JC was going to perform and decided to move in another direction, with a tribute to Hawaii, where the game has been played for 25 years. McCarthy told another outlet Chasez’s planned performance was “over the top.”
“I am very disappointed with how the NFL is describing its decision,” Chasez said in his statement. “I have had a great relationship with the NFL in the past and feel that I have been mistreated. I love football. I love the NFL. But the NFL’s leadership has clearly become so disoriented it has reduced itself to bashing me and my music to divert attention from the fact that the NFL screwed up at the Super Bowl.
“I keep telling myself, ’I did not play at the Super Bowl. I was not even at the Super Bowl. But I’m the one who got beat at the Super Bowl,’ ” he continued.
JC originally planned to perform his latest single, “Some Girls (Dance With Women),” at the Pro Bowl, but the NFL asked him to change the song to “Blowin’ Me Up (With Her Love).” The league also asked him to change the words “horny” and “naughty” in “Blowin’ Me Up.”
“Under the circumstances, I understood their jitters, so I decided to accommodate their concern,” Chasez said. “I really wanted to try to help these guys out even though it is a huge compromise for me, as an artist, to go back and alter my work like that.”
But after he agreed to change the words, Chasez claims, the NFL changed its mind, telling him he could sing the national anthem as planned but not perform during halftime. Their comments in the press only added insult to injury.
“Imagine my shock and hurt to learn that the NFL is now saying the music we were talking about is offensive,” he said. “The couple of songs off my Schizophrenic album that I was going to sing at the Pro Bowl are in no way, shape or form indecent or crude. All of the songs I write and perform speak of the hunger inside each of us to belong and to be close and to be loved.”
In “Some Girls” Chasez sings, “Baby girl, you keep looking at me/ Move your body so sexy/ Nice and slow, watch you roll/ You know how I like it.”
When asked Thursday to respond to Chasez’s comments, McCarthy said, “We made our decision and we’re going to move on.”
Chasez told the Associated Press he passed on a chance to be at Sunday’s Grammy Awards to perform at the Pro Bowl. “Now I have to jockey for my position back in there,” he said.
Coincidentally, Chasez’s replacement for the national anthem also has ’NSYNC ties. Kiley Dean, a former Britney Spears backup dancer, went to high school with Joey Fatone (see “Kiley Dean: The Next Aaliyah?”).
Also on Thursday, Jackson announced she would no longer appear at the Grammys. The Recording Academy has said she was not banned.