Sep 12, 2014

Rihanna performance to open Thursday night's NFL game

A song performed by Rihanna will open the CBS broadcast of Thursday night's game between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. Above, Rihanna in July at the FIFA World Cup in Rio de Janeiro

Music sung by a high-profile victim of domestic violence will open the television broadcast of Thursday night’s game on CBS between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The rendition of “Run This Town” by Rihanna, who attacked by Chris Brown in 2009, comes as the NFL faces public ire over how it handled Ray Rice punching his then-fiance and other incidents of domestic violence by players.

Images from the aftermath of Rihanna’s assault, for which Brown later pleaded guilty to a felony as part of an agreement with prosecutors, were splashed over the TMZ website. That’s the same site that published a video this week showing Rice knocking out his then-fiance with one punch in an elevator.

Rihanna's performance will open each of the 16 Thursday night NFL games this season, accompanied by narration from actor Don Cheadle, according to a news release from the league.

In 2009, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge sentenced Brown to five years of probation and 180 days of community service for the assault on Rihanna.

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