Jay-Z defends NFL deal, touts furthering Kaepernick's message
Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter defended the entertainment deal his company, Roc Nation, made with the NFL this week during a press conference with commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday, amid criticism that the deal contradicts Carter's support of Colin Kaepernick.
Carter and Goodell were asked repeatedly about Kaepernick, who has gone
unsigned since the end of the 2016 season after drawing national attention for
kneeling during the national anthem in protest of social injustice.
Carter has publicly supported Kaepernick in the past, including wearing a
teamless Kaepernick jersey during an appearance on Saturday Night Live in
2017. Asked if Roc Nation's partnership with the NFL goes against his support
of Kaepernick, Carter said the partnership will actually further the
"We forget that Colin's whole thing was to bring attention to social
injustice," Carter said. "In that case, this is a success. This is the next
phase. There 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?'
"... Everyone heard, we hear what you're saying, and everybody knows I agree
with (Kaepernick's message). So what are we gonna do? You know what I'm
saying? millions and millions of people, or we get stuck on Colin not
having a job."
The deal, which the NFL announced Wednesday, named Roc Nation the league's
"official live music entertainment strategists," with the group expected to
play a major role in major events like the Super Bowl halftime show. The
league also said the partnership will support its Inspire Change social
justice initiative, a nonprofit established by the NFL's owners and the
Players Coalition in December 2017 that included $89 million in funding from
Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid -- a close friend and supporter of
Kaepernick's who withdrew from the Players Coalition because he disagreed with
its vision -- criticized the Roc Nation-NFL partnership Tuesday on Twitter.
"I won't quit playing but I will be a royal pain in the NFL's a** for acting
like they care about people of color by forming numerous disingenuous
partnerships to address social injustice while collectively blackballing
Colin, the person who brought oppression and social injustice to the forefront
of the NFL platform," Reid wrote.
Goodell told reporters he anticipated criticism over the partnership, but that
it wouldn't prevent a deal from getting done.
"I don't think either one of us expected that this relationship wouldn't have
its critics," Goodell said. "But you don't let the critics or the negativity
overwhelm the chance to do something really positive. We talked about
(Kaepernick's situation). We talked about a variety of issues."
--Field Level Media