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Rihanna rips CBS for pulling first ‘Thursday Night Football’ intro; CBS makes it permanent

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LOS ANGELES — As the Ray Rice saga played out last week, CBS pulled the intro to its inaugural broadcast of “Thursday Night Football” that featured Rihanna’s voice.

On Tuesday morning, Rihanna took to Twitter, and in a profane way, expressed her displeasure with the move and that the network wanted to use the intro, a rendition of the 2009 Jay-Z hit “Run This Town” that also featured her and Kanye West, beginning Thursday.


In response, CBS agreed with Rihanna and announced it would edit out her voice from the intro permanently.

“Beginning this Thursday, we will be moving in a different direction with some elements of our Thursday Night Football open,” said Jen Sabatelle, CBS’s senior vice president of communications. “We will be using our newly created ‘Thursday Night Football’ theme music to open our game broadcast.”

CBS said last week it dropped the intro before the Pittsburgh Steelers-Baltimore Ravens game because of Rihanna’s involvement in a domestic violence case involving then-boyfriend Chris Brown in 2009.

Rice, the former Ravens running back, had been seen in a newly released video just days earlier clocking his then-fiancee in the face in an Atlantic City, N.J., elevator and knocking her out.

Rice was suspended two games for the incident, which drew controversy at the time, but the criticism grew exponentially  louder after the video surfaced. CBS had wanted to put some distance from the video before using the intro involving Rihanna.