In an unprecedented business move, The NFL and Jay-Z (Roc Nation) decided to develop a partnership in which Jay-Z’s company will help enhance the NFL’s live game experiences and amplify the league’s social justice platform. On the surface, it appears to be a great business move for Roc nation in that a black owned media and entertainment company can put its stamp on America’s number 1 sport. On the other side, though, the partnership of Jay-Z’s company with the NFL gives those in the community an unnerving feeling that Jay-Z may have finally put the death nail in Kaepernick’s NFL return attempt and taking over the narrative that Kaepernick started.
The affect of Kaepernick kneeling has had a lasting effect over the NFL in the past few years, even though Kaep is not currently employed by the league. His movement has been a pain for NFL owners trying to appease its majority black talent and the viewers at home at the same time. The NFL feels like this partnership will put to bed Kaep’s call for social justice and take it out of the NFL’s hands. The problem the NFL doesn’t seem to grasp is that the players aren’t protesting the NFL’s involvement in social issues but the silencing of its athletes. The reason why the NBA has been rising in popularity is because the NBA has embraced its players speaking out about issues they care about, from Lebron opening his school or The Clippers refusing to play because of racist comments made by former owner Donald Sterling.
The NFL wants its players to be robots, to shut up and play football. However, for many of these players, they are the only ones able to voice their concerns about their communities on a national scale. Don’t even get me started on failure of the Rooney rule, lack of black coordinators, head coaches and general managers in a sport predominantly played by black people. Jay-Z has earned much respect for what he and his wife have done on a social justice level and for that I think he deserves a chance for this to play out. The skepticism is still there, however, that the NFL is just trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes and say, “see, we’re working with Jay-Z to try and fix this, you guys still like him, right?” It just feels disingenuous but we have to wait and see how this all ends up. I just hope Jay-Z didn’t sacrifice Kaep’s career and influence to buy an NFL team.
About The Author
Born and raised in Baltimore, graduate of Woodlawn High school and graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Avid Orioles and Ravens fan since day 1 and just all around sports junkie. I’ve been writing articles for 2 years now and I also host my podcast “Live from the hammock” on Facebook and Youtube during the NFL season. Follow me for all things Ravens and Orioles and my articles on Instagram (agent_beige) and Twitter (@miwelsthegreat).