Recording star Rihanna was supposed to perform at tonight’s Thursday Night Football broadcast, but the network thought twice about that one and changed course.
Apparently, CBS Sports started to reshape the pre-game show after video of former NFL-er Ray Rice punching out his (then) fiancé in an elevator came to light.
From The Celebrity Cafe:
The network had planned to open the broadcast with a comedy sketch and Rihanna’s performance of “Run This Town,” along with a Don Cheadle narration.
Now, though, that has all been scrapped. Instead, a new report from CBS This Morning’s Norah O’Donnell will air. O’Donnell got the scoop on Tuesday as the first reporter to speak with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after the tape’s release.
“It’s important to realize we are not overreacting to this story but it is as big a story as has faced the NFL,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus told SI. “We thought journalistically and from a tone standpoint, we needed to have the appropriate tone and coverage. A lot of the production elements we wanted in the show are being eliminated because of time or tone.”
Coincidentally, the first TNF game will feature Rice’s former team, the Baltimore Ravens, who will play division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Earlier Thursday, Goodell announced that he has picked former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III to lead an independent investigation into the league’s handling of the Rice case. However, the investigation will still be overseen by two NFL owners.
Rihanna was a victim of domestic violence herself, famously abused by Chris Brown in 2009. Brown is still on probation.