NFL: Jay-Z A Step Closer to Ownership

Last Wednesday the monarch of culture and newly billionaire Jay-Z, met with National Football Commissioner Roger Goodell in New York at Roc Nation. Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and the NFL organized a joint media session to announce the partnership.


Many expected this unprecedented union to produce a celebratory, or at minimal, hopeful spirit within and throughout the African American communities. Given, the egregiously unjust refusal of employment of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Three years ago, Kaepernick peacefully protested police officers killing unarmed black men and women, by kneeling during the National Anthem. Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since. Coupled with the bitter reality concerning the NFL’s legacy of NO African Americans entrusted in an ownership position.

However, immediately following the press release, it ignited a combustible narrative creating division between supporters of Collin Kaepernick and the NFL’s new “Live Entertainment Strategist”, Jay-Z. The hip hop autocrat, Jay-Z will be heavily involved in the league’s social justice campaign “Inspire Change” initiative. Plus, shoulder the responsibility as a consultant on the Super Bowl Halftime show and bring in high-level talent to perform at separate league events. 

Jay-Z famously declared on his 4:44 album “Nobody wins when the family feuds”. Kaepernick’s allies felt outraged and betrayed by Jay-Z. Abruptly, an attitude attributed to the idea Kaepernick’s work would somehow be erased due to Jay-Z’s involvement emerged. However, Jay-Z’s arrival amplifies the movement Kaepernick started.

Jay-Z was asked by Power 105.1 radio personality Charlamagne tha God “How can you partner with a league on social justice when Kaepernick who brought the attention to the masses by peacefully protesting against social injustices, still don’t have a job?” Jay-Z responded “We forget Kaepernick’s whole thing was to bring attention to injustice, correct? In that case, this is a success. This is the next step. For me, actionable items. What are we going to do? Everyone heard Kaepernick and we heard what he was saying. And everyone knows I agree with what he is saying. We moved past kneeling. It’s time to go into our actionable items. To be clear, to the room I’m not minimizing that part of it. Because that has happened. That is a necessary part of the process”. 

Furthermore, Jay-Z possesses resources, monies, and power enabling him to advance the movement further than Kaepernick’s capabilities. Jay-Z’s primary objective is to focus on designing and executing “actionable items” either in addition to or as an alternative of kneeling.

Kaepernick kneeled peacefully to bring awareness and attention to social injustice. Kaepernick’s defenders expressed an outpour of displeasure of Kaepernick’s absence and uneasiness surrounding the disruption of discomfort by the NFL. As a result of players taking a knee during the national anthem. Jay-Z was asked, “Do you want people to stop protesting”? Jay-Z rebutted “No I don’t want people to stop protesting at all. Kneeling is a form of protesting. I support protesting across the board”.


The loudest detractors of Jay-Z in Kaepernick’s camp were the ones who think Jay-Z is solely doing this for monies. Without question, Jay-Z made a business move to benefit his personal life. Jay-Z is an unapologetic capitalist and certainly his mental processes are different when he invests monies as opposed to mere dialogue. Jay-Z is a billionaire! The common idea circulating with respects to Jay-Z, partnering exclusively to make “millions of dollars” is laughable! Now if you say he’s doing it to enter himself into the $10B dollar man race, you have my attention. In my estimate, Jay-Z is doing it for future black ownership for either himself or someone following his lead. Additionally, to send a message to future generations of young African American men and women “you can do anything”. Jay-Z is demonstrating in actuality the chorus of his explosive song titled “NICE”, from his latest album “Everything Is Love”. In an utopian scenario, Jay-Z becomes the owner of a team and his first hire is Colin Kaepernick. 

African American representation in the NFL is a necessity. Especially considering African American players represent 70 percent of NFL participation. Meanwhile, black ownership is 0 percent. More importantly, Jay-Z now occupies a seat that will directly impact African American communities globally and for generations to come. Baltimore’s Trevor White, Owner of Valuable Business Solutions, husband, and father of 3 says, “Well, I don’t mind being on the ground floor making sure my people have a seat at the table if I am at the table”. Evidence representation matters!

How do you feel about the Jay-Z partnership with the NFL? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Jamal on Twitter @JamalBurke9.

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