Under fire for sitting during the National Anthem at Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, Jay-Z said he and Beyoncé were not staging a “silent protest” but were just distracted discussing the upcoming musical performances. The rapper, who co-produced the performances at this year’s event, addressed the issue at a Q&A at Columbia University on Tuesday night, according to Page Six. “What happened was, we got there, we were sitting, and now the show’s about to start. My wife was with me and so she says to me, ‘I know this feeling right here.’ Like, she’s super-nervous because she’s performed at Super Bowls before,” he said. “So we get there and we immediately jump into artist mode… now I’m really just looking at the show. Did the mic start? Was it too low to start?” Jay-Z said he and Beyoncé were sitting there the “whole time… talking about the performance” and how “proud” they were of Demi Lovato’s National Anthem. “And then it finished and then my phone rang,” the rapper recalled. “And it was like, ‘You know you didn’t…’ I’m like, ‘What?’” He said that the two halftime show artists, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, were “making the loudest statement” with their performance and that he didn’t need to stage any “silent protest” of the event.