Jay-Z is catching a lot of flak on social media following the news that his entertainment and sports company, Roc Nation, and the NFL have formed a long-term partnership, despite the league’s controversial history with Colin Kaepernick.
The rapper had been a vocal supporter of Kaepernick, who has been blacklisted by the NFL after he sparked a wave of peaceful protests by players against racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem at a 2016 preseason game. After finishing that season with the San Francisco 49ers, he became a free agent and remains unsigned.
Jay-Z called the quarterback and activist an “iconic figure” in an interview last year, but folks were disappointed to hear that his company is now the NFL’s “official Live Music Entertainment Strategists.”
Roc Nation will spearhead and advise on the artist selection for music performances, including the widely watched Super Bowl halftime show. It will also focus on the league’s social justice platform, called Inspire Change, which aims to address education and economic advancement, police and community relations, and criminal justice reform.
Well, many people aren’t happy with the collaboration. See some of the reactions below:
— NESSA (@nessnitty) August 14, 2019
So the NFL is forming an entertainment and "social justice" partnership with Jay-Z and his Roc Nation agency.
Jay Z hasn't spoken with Colin Kaepernick about this and yet says he was an "inspiration."
If this isn't Black capitalism exploiting the movement I don't know what is.
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) August 13, 2019
If you don’t connect the dots, you’ll never see the whole picture… https://t.co/lV1OEkPldM
— Full Dissident (@hbryant42) August 14, 2019
To me, an organization that effectively blackballed someone for excercizing their right to protest the unjust killing of unarmed black men, doesn’t care about social justice, and never will. But what do I know. #ImWithKap
— Francis Maxwell (@francismmaxwell) August 14, 2019
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) August 14, 2019
Just to be clear…
No Jay-Z. No Robert Kraft and Meek Mill. No players coalition. No amount of money can erase the fact the NFL punished @Kaepernick7 for speaking out on behalf of people of color, and continues to ban him.
Thanks for attending my Ted Talk.
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) August 13, 2019