It wasn’t too long ago that Jay-Z was attacking the NFL for their treatment of Colin Kaepernick who took a knee during the national anthem in protest, yet he has just signed a deal with the NFL.
According to the famous hip-hop singer, he isn’t “selling out,” but rather partnering with NFL to take action against racial injustice.
However, Kaepernick has been out of a job since he made his silent statement, and though he won a multimillion-dollar settlement from the NFL in February, Jay has received a lot of criticism for his recent relations with NFL.
For instance, Eric Reid, who protested with Kaepernick and also won an NFL statement but now plays for the Carolina Panthers, said of the Roc National-NFL deal, “The NFL gets 2 hide behind his black face 2 try to cover up blackballing Colin.”
Jay said that he did talk with Kaepernick before announcing the deal, yet he didn’t disclose the content of their conversation.
Last Wednesday, Jay said, “I think we are past kneeling. I think it is time to go into action . . . Kneeling, I know we are stuck on it because it’s a real thing, it is a form of protest. I support protests across the board . . . everybody knows what the issue is now, OK, so what are we going to do about it?
The kneeling wasn’t about not having a job, it was about social injustice. So now how do we deal with injustice? What is the way forward?”
Defending the deal, he added, “For me, action . . . What are we going to do together? . . . Or will we get stuck on Colin not having a job?”
An inside source said of Kaepernick, “He is not blackballed . He started this. If Colin has a plan of action for change, he is very welcome at the table.”
The source has also divulged some of the agreements the NFL and Jay have come to already, like including tracks from selected artists across broadcasts, giving profits to the league’s Inspire Change program, and working on job creation and community initiatives in cities where football is played.
NFL is also preparing things like player podcasts and issue-based docs for streaming services.
In the future, Jay also plans to tackle diversity in team ownership and executive leadership as well as the lack of black quarterbacks. In the years to come, Jay-Z is considering taking part ownership of an NFL team, but he’d have to eventually sell Roc Nation Sports to do so.