On Aug. 14, NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodwell and Jay-Z announced that they would be collaborating. Jay-Z will be consulting on entertainment (including the Super Bowl halftime) along with helping the NFL promote criminal justice reform and better police community relations through their partnership campaign, “Inspire Change.”
“With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country,” said Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. “Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas — instead, we unify them. This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America.”Jay-Z said about NFL.
As one can expect, this collaboration caused a stir especially since Jay-Z has been a supporter of Collin Kaepernick. Kaepernick, a former NFL player for the 49ers, has not played for the NFL for the past few season due to his protests. It didn’t help the stir that Jay-Z said “I think we’re past kneeling. I think it’s time for action,” when asked if he’d stand or kneel during the national anthem.
“I think that we forget that Colin’s whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice so in that case this is a success — this is the next thing. There’s two parts of protest: the protest, and then there’s a company or individual saying, ‘I hear you, what do we do next?’ For me it’s about actionable items, what are we gonna do about it?” he replied. “We get stuck on Colin not having a job, you know what I’m saying? And this is more than that.
Colin Kaepernick responded with a soft jab on instagram, posting a photo of Albert Wilson, Kenny Stills, and Eric Reid kneeling during the National Anthem with the caption, “Continue to fight for the people, even in the face of death threats. They have never moved past the people and continue to put their beliefs into action. Stay strong Brothers!!!”
Many have expressed their feelings on twitter, some defending Jay-Z while others calling him out for being a “sell-out” and even going as far as to “cancel” him.