Celebrities who take a stance are those who actually help mold the minds and hearts of their fans. They ensure to use their influence to spread messages quicker. So when a singer like Ellie Goulding threatens a league as big as the National Football League for supporting the Salvation Army, we make a note. But what did the NFL do and why is Goulding smoldering with threats?
The professional football league is a big deal in the United States of America. Every year, we see artists and performers invited to entertain the audience during the football season. With 32 teams playing, almost the entire country is involved in the league. So, yes, the National Football league aka NFL has a massive fan following in the country.
According to LGBTQ Nation, Ellie Goulding learnt that she would perform during the halftime of its Thanksgiving Day Game. Five days ago, the NFL made the announcement. In the past twenty-two years of the league, the halftime performance served as the kicker event for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign. The campaign is aimed to raise money for the homeless.
When Goulding shared the celebratory news with her fans, they pointed out that the Salvation Army has a history of anti-gay and transphobic politics.
And what did Goulding Do?
What everyone who believes in equal rights and equal opportunity would do. The singer announced that she will not be performing at the halftime show. The National Football League will no more have the singer perform for their Thanksgiving Day.
But that is not the end of that conversation. Goulding went back to her fans and thanked them for bringing it to her attention. She claimed that she did not know the organisation’s history. She also patted The Salvation Army on the shoulder and asked them to do better.
Look at this snippet by LGBTQ+ Nation.
Upon researching this, I have reached out to The Salvation Army and said that I would have no choice but to pull out unless they very quickly make a solid, committed pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community.
I am a committed philanthropist as you probably know, and my heart has always been in helping the homeless, but supporting an anti-LGBTQ charity is clearly not something I would ever intentionally do. Thank you for drawing my attention to this.
The National Football League did not interfere in the discussion whatsoever. But the Salvation Army did pay attention to Goulding’s comments. And their response, to say very subtly is plain denial.
Nope, No, That’s Not Us.
The National Commander, David Hudson, of the Salvation Army said that the organisation’s history of anti-LGBTQ politics is just plain myth. He added that,
“An individual’s sexual or gender identity, religion, or lifestyle has no bearing on our willingness to provide service. We stand firmly behind our mission to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”
But it is not a myth. The Salvation Army has supported several anti-LGBTQ+ acts in the past.
In New Zealand, The Salvation Army supported to ensure consensual same-sex activity stays criminalised. They have also successfully kept any positive mentions of homosexuality out of U.K. schools. And to add to that, they tackle the anti-discrimination laws in the U.S as well. When the anti-discrimination laws made news, they began a PR offensive.
The Salvation Army may try repeatedly to claim that do not discriminate based on ‘gender, sexuality, religion, or lifestyle’. But they have time and again been in the papers for being discriminatory based exactly on that. In 2017, the organisation was caught for discriminating against homeless transgender people. The New York City’s Commission on Human Rights caught the organisation doing exactly what they claim they don’t do.
Yes, No, Maybe
We still don’t really know what the status is. Ellie Goulding is surely not performing if the Salvation Army continues to discriminate. The Salvation Army has only overtly claimed that the organisation does not discriminate based on gender or sexuality. But the history of the organisation has told us otherwise. Either way, the Salvation Army has not said whether it would meet Goulding’s condition. And if the organisation will support LGBTQ rights. Will the organisation really lose anything if Ellie Goulding did not perform?
Will the National Football League drop Ellie Goulding or the Salvation Army? The organisation’s claims don’t really carry any weight for the LGBTQ+ community at this stage. But will the English singer lean towards the crocodile tear like claims made by the organisation?
Since the NFL has still not intervened in the issue, we may not know for sure what is to come. NFL has always delivered amazing performances from artists, but since the organisation’s stance has now come to light, we can only wait and see how the event turns out.