(AllHipHop News) The public is still processing the news that Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter is partnering with the NFL. Jay-Z’s Roc Nation company is reportedly working with the football league on entertainment programs and social justice initiatives.
Some critics of the deal, such as Carolina Panthers player Eric Reid and activist Shaun King, had concerns that Colin Kaepernick is still not signed to a team. Kaepernick has been arguing that he was blackballed by NFL executives for kneeling during the national anthem as a form of silent protest against police brutality.
“We forget that Colin's whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice. In that case, this is a success. This is the next phase," Carter is quoted saying during a press conference with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. "There [are] two parts of protesting. You go outside and you protest, and then the company or the individual says, 'I hear you. What do we do next?'”
The billionaire businessman added, “Everyone heard, we hear what you're saying, and everybody knows I agree with what you're saying [in Kaepernick's underlying message]. So what are we gonna do? You know what I'm saying? [Help] millions and millions of people, or we get stuck on Colin not having a job."
Kaepernick has not directly responded to the Jay-Z/Roc Nation/NFL partnership. However, he did tweet, “I continue to work and stand with the people in our fight for liberation, despite those who are trying to erase the movement! The movement has always lived with the people!”
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback also shared a tweet from Roc Nation artist J. Cole that offered support to his cause. The North Carolina native posted, “Thank you @Kaepernick7 we ain’t forgot. @nfl let the man work.”
Cole has been signed to Roc Nation since 2009. He was the first artist to officially join Jay’s record label. In addition, the two Hip Hop stars were introduced as artist-owners of the Tidal streaming service in 2015.
Besides his new cooperation with the NFL, Jay-Z also aligned with New England Patriots main shareholder Robert Kraft and other high-profile tycoons to start the REFORM Alliance, an organization dedicated to fighting for criminal justice reform. Roc Nation affiliated emcee Meek Mill is the Co-Chair of REFORM Alliance.