Jay-Z and the NFL
Shawn Corey Carter, who is better known as Jay-Z, was recently named hip hop’s wealthiest entertainer, because he is now a billionaire. Outside of his investments in champagne brands, tech startups and real estate, Jay Z’s wealth of income is accredited to the fact that he is considered one of the best rappers in music history. He is married to Beyonce, who is recognized as one of the top performers in music history as well.
Together, they have created various songs and an album, Everything Is Love, which won a Grammy in 2019. Toward the middle of August, TMZ reported that Jay Z is hoping to become a part owner of an NFL team, though no one is sure of which team it will be. The deal has not gone through yet, but one of TMZ’s sources have reported that the deal is going to take place soon. This is not his first time looking to own a team, he was a partial owner of the Brooklyn Nets until 2013.
Outside of him possibly buying a team, his entertainment company, Roc Nation, was also in the news because of a newly signed contract with the NFL. The deal between the two organizations will result in Roc Nation serving as advisors for NFL related entertainment, live music and social justice activities. This sparked a lot of conversation, mainly Jay Z stood up for Colin Kaepernick in the past. For context, during the 2016 preseason, people noticed that Kaepernick was sitting, rather than standing, during the national anthem. When he was asked about his actions, he refused to show pride and trust in a country who continuously oppresses black people and people of color. As the preseason came to an end, Kaepernick went from sitting to kneeling during the national anthem, to show more respect to those who have currently or formerly served in the military. His contract with the San Francisco 49ers ended at the end of the 2016 season, and he remained unsigned during the following off-season and training camps. Colin Kaepernick has not been signed to a team since, because many teams are hesitant about the backlash and criticism from NFL fans that they could face if they sign Kaepernick.
During this tough time, there were a few celebrities who stood by Kaepernick’s side, including Jay Z. While performing on “Saturday Night Live”, Jay Z wore a Kaepernick jersey, and encouraged other entertainers to boycott performing at the 2019 Super Bowl. On his song with Beyonce, “Apes---”, he said “I said no to the Super Bowl: You need me, I don’t need you. Every night we in the end zone, tell the NFL we in stadiums, too.” Because of this behavior, many people assumed that the rapper would not do business with the NFL. When it was announced that he was looking to own a team and that his business has a contract with the NFL, many people called him a sellout. During a press conference with the NFL commission, Jay Z told the public, “I think we’re past kneeling, I think it’s time for action” and that his new business relationship with the league is the first step to creating change.
Colin Kaepernick has yet to release an official statement about his thoughts regarding Jay Z and the NFL’s new partnership, but he did tweet the following on August 18th: My Brothers @E_Reid35 @KSTiLLS @iThinkIsee12 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!!! .”