NEW YORK — Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani is criticizing Beyonce about her halftime performance at Super Bowl 50, saying it was an “attack” on police officers.
During the performance on Sunday, Beyonce’s dancers wore berets and clothing similar to those of the Black Panthers. They also raised their fists to the sky, a nod to 1968 Olympic sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos.
Smith and Carlos raised black-gloved fists to the sky on the medal podium at the Olympic Games in Mexico City as the national anthem played. The gloves represented strength and unity, Smithsonian Magazine reports. They wore black socks and no shoes to symbolize African-American poverty. To remember lynching victims, Smith wore a scarf while Carlos had beads.
On Monday morning’s episode of “Fox & Friends,” Giuliani fumed about the performance and the singer’s “political position.”
“I thought that she used it as a platform to attack police officers, who are the people who protect her and protect us and keep us alive,” Giuliani said. “And what we should be doing, in the African-American community and in all communities, is build up respect for police officers and focus on the fact that when something does go wrong, OK, we’ll work on that.”
Giuliani said that Super Bowl performances should offer “decent, wholesome entertainment” instead of attacking “people who put their lives at risk just to save us.”
On Saturday, the singer courted controversy with the release of the song “Formation,” highlighting racial tensions with police. The video shows a young boy dancing in front of armed police officers, who signal their surrender by raising their arms to him. The move was a reference to the “hands up, don’t shoot” anthem of the Black Lives Matter movement. The anthem was inspired by the 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
Other conservatives shared Giuliani’s sentiment about the performance. Rep. Pete King (R-NY) tweeted that Beyonce’s performance was “shameful” and “cops deserve support, not criminals.”