Games 1 and 2 of the World Series happened in Los Angeles this week as the Dodgers are playing the Houston Astros for the championship. There were a lot of celebrities in the crowd last night – among them Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel. Amazingly he managed to stay in his seat and not make the game about himself. But, then again, he’s had his share of headlines already over the last few days.

JT is headlining the halftime show at the Super Bowl. A few people have tried to steer the conversation away from Janet Jackson and how unfair it’s been in the 14 years since the wardrobe malfunction, wondering what the set list will be, and how much NSYNC we’ll hear that night. Can’t Stop The Feeling, worst song of 2016, that has to be the closer, non?

That’s been the sidebar though. The main discussion, obviously, has been about Janet and Justin and how he did her wrong and whether or not he’ll right that wrong. A lot of people think that for sure she’s going to show up. Because the NFL claimed this week that “there’s no ban”. NOW there’s no ban. We’ve been talking about the Janet Jackson ban for YEARS. Why is it that they’ve only come out to say that “there’s no ban” in 2017? And what’s the apostrophe for? Is the apostrophe for “there IS no ban”? Or is it for “there WAS no ban?”

Needless to say, everyone now is trying to distance themselves from the way Janet was treated in the years after the Super Bowl in 2004. Because the way she was treated – by the NFL, by the FCC, by Viacom (they blacklisted her music across their properties and severely restricted radio play of her catalogue), by the Grammys, and, yes, by Justin Timberlake – was a group effort. And so, if she returns with Justin Timberlake, will that serve as a group pardon? Should there be a group pardon?

And, really, is it that simple?

I hate that she might find herself in a position where all these assholes are like, oh hi Janet, we want you back! And if she says no, you KNOW, YOU F-CKING KNOW, what they’ll say about her. How they’ll call her ungrateful and ungracious. How they’ll say they tried. And she was the one who said no.

This is what Janet retweeted the other day, on the 28th anniversary of the release of Rhythm Nation, the single:

It’s a link to a BET article about her tour. About the themes that she’s been addressing on tour, which are consistent with the themes she’s been addressing since Rhythm Nation.

Join voices in protest
To social injustice
A generation full of courage
Come forth with me
People of the world today
Are we looking for a better way of life
We are a part of the rhythm nation

Colin Kaepernick protested social injustice, police brutality, on the field last year. And no team in the NFL, to date, has picked him up. He’s signed a book deal but he can’t sign a playing deal. Perhaps by February the situation in the NFL will have changed. But if it remains the way it is today, can you see Janet Jackson take the stage holding hands with the white man – and men – who held her down?