Beyonce Selling ‘Boycott Beyonce’ Merchandise on Tour
Beyonce has taken aim at critics threatening to boycott her new tour by selling “Boycott Beyonce” merchandise at her shows. The singer sparked controversy in February with the music video for her single “Formation,” as critics argued the promo encourages an anti-police message in light of the deaths of black men and women at the hands of police officers across the country in recent years.
Beyonce added fuel to the fire during her performance at the Super Bowl halftime show in the days following the release of “Formation,” when she paid tribute to the Black Panthers movement – a revolutionary black nationalist and socialist organization in the United States. As a result, members of police unions in Miami and Tampa, Florida and in the state of Tennessee launched boycotts, threatening not to work as volunteer officers during the stops on her Formation World Tour. However, when she kicked off the trek in Miami on Wednesday, fans were surprised to see the superstar had used the threats to make light of the controversy by emblazoning the phrase “Boycott Beyonce” on black t-shirts and black iPhone cases sold at the merchandise booths. Earlier this month, Beyonce told Elle magazine the anti-police allegations had no foundation, saying, “I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things.” The Formation Tour kicked off with an opening set from DJ Khaled, who was joined by hip-hop stars Rick Ross, 2 Chains, Lil Wayne, Future, and Trick Daddy on stage, and Beyonce’s former Destiny’s Child bandmate Michelle Williams was also spotted in the audience. Jay Z was also on hand to support his wife, just days after the R&B icon sparked rumors of marital trouble with the lyrics on her new album Lemonade.