Superbowl 53, Adam Levine and Nipples

Super Bowl LIII was relatively tame compared to other ones as far as football goes. 

The Patriots put the hurt on the Rams then came the halftime show…Travis Scott and Big Boi.  Although I confess to being totally slammed into a brick wall with the mash-up of Pop Rock of Maroon 5 to the Rapping of Travis Scott and Big Boi formerly of Outkast, the show was well performed by all of the artists.

Adam Levine entered the stage with fireworks flaming his arrival and he proceeded to demonstrate to all that were watching why Maroon 5 is one of the world’s best selling music artists. With 109 million singles sold and 27 million albums sold and his collaboration with Rapper Cardi B “Girls Like You” peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and received a Grammy nomination, it’s a safe bet that  Maroon 5 is hot!

The half time show was not without its controversy over the appearance of the artists that chose to perform over boycotting the half-time event in support of Colin Kaepernick who chose to not stand up during the performance of the “National Anthem” back in 2016 and instead took to his knee.  Kaepernick did this to make a statement about the climate of racial injustice.  Kaepernick had his lawyer call out Maroon 5 for performing as well as enlisting the aid of performers such as JayZ and Cardi B.  From my perspective it seems as if Levine was taking the bulk of the heat over the other performers.

Levine/Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big boi worked out a deal with the NFL to donate their fees to charities which seemed like a good idea.  This all took place prior to the actual half-time show and should have been over and done with.

Enter Levine’s now infamous strip tease during his performance, which was pretty tame if anyone were to ask my elderly opinion.  The coat came off and then the shirt and there he was in his bare-chested glory.  As I looked at Levine’s fine form I was thinking “Wow, the dude’s been working out and when did he get that California tattoo? Cool.”

There was a lot of panning and put downs of Maroon 5’s performance on the show.  Most of it was done by musicians that have only been able to wish they had the success that Maroon 5/Levine have had. Aside from thinking that it’s pretty nervy of anyone to expect a performer to give up a chance to perform to a viewing public that is global, one must ask when Kaepernick made the decision to not stand during the National Anthem shouldn’t he be willing to accept the consequences of his actions and not expect anyone else to forgo their professional aspirations?  In other words, “own it.”

I am not saying that Kaepernick was wrong to do what he did.  There are times that I have not stood at the playing of the National Anthem at the Hollywood Bowl.  Granted it wasn’t for such a noble purpose as his was, but I just don’t think it’s worth all of the hoopla.  Kaepernick is guaranteed the freedom of choice by our Constitution just as Maroon 5 are.  That freedom is part of what makes this country great.

Now the FCC claims it has over 50 complaints about Levine’s “nipplegate” incident at the half-time show.  The FCC is saying that people are claiming gender inequality.  The complainers’ point of reference is an incident that occurred back in 2004 at Super Bowl XXXVIII.  The incident involved Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.  The two were performing and Timberlake exposed Jackson’s nipple.  Jackson was left to handle the onslaught of outrage over her nipple being exposed while Timberlake was MIA and never did pay the piper for his choice to pull Jackson’s top down exposing her nipple.  Somehow a correlation between the events has been drawn.

The FCC contends that a case has been made as to why did Jackson get in trouble and not Levine.  I hate to break it to them, but there is a very distinct difference between men and women’s nipples.  A man’s nipples are not an object of sexual desire as a woman’s are.  Personally, I’ve never looked at Levine’s nipples, or any man’s nipples for that matter, and said “Will you get a load of his nipples. Aren’t those the most perfect breasts you’ve ever seen?”

Besides, when one considers that this show was global, how does a bit over 50 complaints equal enough to levy a fine on Levine and the channel that televised the event?  Are men going to be arrested for indecent exposure at the beach because they are only wearing a bathing suit bottom?  Or how about boxers when they fight in their shorts are they going to be fined and the channel that televises the event?  Please!

To take this another step further, how about the Grammy Awards a few weeks ago?  There was so much S&M costuming on the stage that I kept looking for the whips. What about that “fight cage” that had them fake brawling? Or how about that one get up with the tiny dress and the garter belt hanging down, and I hear she went commando.  Music fan Marie Ornedo  said “She had on more make-up than she did an outfit.”  This is just one of many complaints that I received over the Grammy Awards.

At the very least, the Grammy people should be arrested for the attempted murder of rock n’ roll as they did not air the awards that involved rock n’ roll such as Greta Van Fleet and Chris Cornell.

The performances had Rhythm and Blues and Rap, Country and Motown, but no real rock n’ roll outside of the collaboration of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Post Malone, which still defies definition.  Lady GaGa is Pop and not Rock.

At the end of the day what I am trying to say is that we always have the right to change the channel to something more appropriate than a bunch of men beating the crap out of each other on the football field. I do question a parent’s judgement when allowing their offspring to view something as violent as football.  If you don’t like it, change the channel!

As for myself, I plan on watching the Oscars.  Queen will be performing “Bohemian Rhapsody” and, in a business that is notorious for floundering when it comes to portraying accurate rock n’ roll stories, “Bohemian Rhapsody” hits the ball out of the park with the best portrayal in ages.

Caroline McElroy
Author: Caroline McElroy

The muse struck at a young age and began with Ernie’s Record Shop on Lankershim Blvd. In North Hollywood where I purchased my first Beatle record “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and a record by Major Lance titled “Um,Um,Um,Um,Um,Um”. From there I saw the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl and I was hooked…on Rock N’ Roll. At the age of 13 it seems as if the magical world of Rock N’ Roll opened up and welcomed me. A trip to Indio with Frank Zappa and possee, and subsequent gigs as a dancer at The Teen Fairs at the Hollywood Palladium sealed the deal. As a trained journalist, I’ve written for magazines, newsletters,newspapers and blogs. In addition, I have run a nightclub by the name of The Cave. Music is the thread that weaves a patchwork quilt of genres, venues and experience out of my life and in the process have introduced many fine acts to my followers. For the rest of my story dear readers, read my articles and it will unfold like the petals of a lotus flower. Sometimes you’ve gotta wear the hat to remind people who they are dealing with. LOL


  1. Just found out this morning that Adam Levine has been selected by YSL to be the face of their new men’s cologne and what a spread was sent to me via email…wow. The scent is called “Y”. Check it out. If I were Levine I would say thank you to all those whiners for the free publicity that they generated because of Maroon 5’s Super Bowl Half-Time show. Levine is laughing all the way to the bank. LOL

  2. “I hate to break it to them, but there is a very distinct difference between men and women’s nipples. A man’s nipples are not an object of sexual desire as a woman’s are. Personally, I’ve never looked at Levine’s nipples, or any man’s nipples for that matter, and said “Will you get a load of his nipples. Aren’t those the most perfect breasts you’ve ever seen?””

    Way to miss the point entirely. Your tone-deaf statements prove the point of those complainants. Because of the difference in fatty tissue, we should accept Adam’s bare chest but not Janet’s? Could you grasp the extent of Janet Jackson’s career fallout vs. Justin Timberlake’s? Probably not. Nipple inequality is sizable and unjust and ridiculous. Until people decide that one is the same as the other and quit sexualizing the (gasp!) exposed female nipple, we will continue to live in a male-favored universe. (Btw the fact that you DON’T think those same thoughts towards the male nipple doesn’t support whatever argument you’re hoping to substantiate here – when did the sexualization and subjugation of the female body become acceptable as the norm and why can’t we challenge that behavior today?)

  3. Mia G I read your comment with a great deal of interest. What happened to Janet Jackson was sad and I never said that I had a problem when it did happen 15 years ago. I breast fed 4 babies in public. For me there was nothing sexual about it. I was feeding my children and nothing more. Unfortunately the majority of people do not see things in a sexless context. Because of that it is unrealistic to view it as such. For example: I am part Native American and taught my children the TRUE history of Native Americans and not the white washed one taught in public schools. Everything was fine until high school and then their ideology collided with the history being taught which in turn created quite a disturbance when my kids were failing their tests and had lots of heated debates with instructors. My point being in all of this is that you are entitled to your opinion. But, keep in mind the reality of the world you live in and how best to live within it. If you don’t you are in for a lot of battles that may not benefit you and create more drama than you can handle. Think about how you dress when going out to a club for dancing. How much do you expose and why? How much make up do you use when going out on the town and why? Usually the answer revolves around attracting or drawing attention to yourself. Also, are you aware that the most common form of magik is sex magik?
    I don’t see a world of sexless Eunuchs in the very near future and I doubt if androgeny will ever fully catch on or be embraced in this century. Good luck in your life and your digging up of the past and trotting it out as news when all it really is…is drama.

  4. @Music Maven | I’m glad you’re cool with going with the status quo to avoid hassle and “more drama than you can handle.” It’s a great lesson for your kids.

    Why shouldn’t your children write the true Native American History even if it means a failing grade? Would you not stand up for your kids and challenge the thinking of the faulty educational system? And should we ONLY challenge what we’re capable of changing? Or can one person’s stance inspire 2 others and 10 others from theirs (etc.) and create a louder voice/movement.

    Your final paragraph, I’m not even going to touch. It didn’t address anything found in my comment and most of this doesn’t even merit a response. Basically one logical fallacy after another so peace be with you.