Jay-Z said he and Beyoncé didn't stand during the national anthem at the Super Bowl because he was in "artist mode" ensuring the live entertainment for the big game went off without a hitch.
Video of the couple sitting in the stands as Demi Lovato belted the Star Spangled Banner sparked both praise and condemnation and some wondered if it was meant to send a message.
But, as the music mogul explained at a lecture Tuesday at Columbia University in New York, "It wasn't actually. Sorry."
Last fall, the NFL formed a multiyear partnership with Jay-Z's company, Roc Nation. The deal includes co-producing the Super Bowl's entertainment and collaborating on the league's social justice efforts.
"What happened was, we got there and we were sitting and now the show is about to start," he continued during the Q&A. "And we immediately jump into artist mode. I'm really just looking at the show. The mics start. [Thinking] 'Was it too low to start?'"
Jay-Z also said he and Beyoncé wouldn't have put their 8-year-old daughter Blue Ivy in the position of being part of a protest.