As they are wont to do, two of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s most vocal allies are speaking out in anger and disgust over the NFL’s new partnership with rapper Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, claiming the Brooklyn-born mogul is “burying” Kaepernick’s career with this move.
The NFL branded it as a way to “amplify the league’s social justice efforts.”
“As part of the agreement, Roc Nation will advise on the selection of artists for major NFL performances like the Super Bowl. A major component of the partnership will be to nurture and strengthen community through football and music, including through the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative,” the NFL’s announcement read.
“With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country,” Jay-Z said via statement. “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.”
It all seems innocuous enough. The NFL gets a PR boost when it desperately needs one, and Roc Nation will likely make quite a bit of money.
But Kaepernick’s former teammate, Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, and Kaepernick’s girlfriend, radio host Nessa Diab, took this new NFL partnership as an unmitigated affront to the unemployed quarterback.
Reid voiced his frustration on Twitter, calling the partnership “neocolonialism.”
Jay-Z doesn’t need the NFL’s help 2 address social injustices. It was a money move 4 him & his music business. The NFL gets 2 hide behind his black face 2 try to cover up blackballing Colin. #NeoColonialism https://t.co/tO49a1JC2cLoading...
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) August 15, 2019
“It looks like your goal was to make millions and millions of dollars by assisting the NFL in burying Colin’s career,” he said after Jay-Z defended the move.
These aren’t mutually exclusive. They can both happen at the same time! It looks like your goal was to make millions and millions of dollars by assisting the NFL in burying Colin’s career. https://t.co/LFBZpbj2tw
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) August 15, 2019
Diab also took to social media to blast the partnership even further.
“We will never turn our backs on @kaepernick7 because your idols decided to work with the same organization that is actively keeping Colin unemployed all because he peacefully protested against social injustice in black and brown communities, specifically police brutality,” Diab wrote on Instagram.
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“So really, how can Jay-Z and the NFL utter social justice in their partnership while keeping Colin unemployed because of his social justice work?”
“It’s typical for the NFL to buy different PR looks to cover up their dirt-that’s nothing new. But what is disgusting and disappointing is Jay-Z let them use him. Whether Jay-Z knew it or not (I don’t doubt his intelligence-so I would think he knew) he helped the NFL bury who he said is an iconic figure, Colin Kaepernick.”
That last bit from Diab makes this particularly nonsensical. Jay-Z literally called Kaepernick an “iconic figure” during a 2018 edition of CNN‘s “The Van Jones Show.”
“Would you rather be playing football, getting your head dinged in, or would you rather be an iconic figure for the rest of your life?” Jay-Z asked Van Jones on that episode.
So, to recap, this is a pro-Kaepernick celebrity whose company has entered into a deal with the NFL, and it’s apparently the worst thing ever? Never mind that Reid, if he truly felt the NFL was this sinister machine, could find work elsewhere.
Barring a rash of injuries, it’s hard to envision Kaepernick being scooped up by an NFL team this upcoming year. And even if that were to happen, there’s no indication that Kaepernick would accept a backup role with a backup’s salary.
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