NFL notebook: Jay-Z defends NFL deal, talks Kaepernick

NFL notebook: Jay-Z defends NFL deal, talks Kaepernick
By Reuters

15/08/2019 at 02:24Updated 15/08/2019 at 02:26

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 in New York 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
quarterback's message.

"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 (are) 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?'"

--A chef filed a lawsuit against Oakland Raiders wideout Antonio Brown earlier
this summer, alleging the receiver did not pay a bill of $38,521.20 during the
week of the 2018 Pro Bowl in Orlando, ESPN reported.

Stefano Tedeschi told ESPN that Brown -- who was still with the Pittsburgh
Steelers at the time -- rented a mansion and hired a chef to host nearly 50
fellow Pro Bowlers during the last week of January.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Osceola (Fla.) County on July 30, alleges
Brown wrongfully terminated the agreement and did not allow Tedeschi to
retrieve his equipment and food, per ESPN. Tedeschi told ESPN he paid
employees and passed up other opportunities to work for Brown, and he wasn't
given a reason for the lack of payment. He said Brown later offered to pay
through social-media advertising.

--Quarterback Baker Mayfield doesn't care if other clubs think the Cleveland
Browns are being overhyped.

Mayfield insists that the Browns are worried about their locker room, not the
noise coming from others.

"You've got to believe in it and take it one week at a time," the 24-year-old
Mayfield said in an interview with Complex Sports. "I think in the media and
everything that comes with the hype around our team right now, people want to
see us lose, just because the hype is so real. But we've got to go out there
and take it one week at a time. We're trying to win every week."

--Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr. missed joint practice against the
Indianapolis Colts due to what ESPN reported is a hip pointer, but the injury
is not serious.

Head coach Freddie Kitchens told reporters Beckham should be back "pretty
soon," with ESPN reporting the receiver could be back in team drills Thursday.

--New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell isn't worried about getting up to
speed after sitting out all of last season in a contract dispute.

He told reporters he doesn't believe preseason work is required for him to be
ready for the season opener.

"I don't really necessarily need (preseason reps)," Bell said, per the New
York Daily News. "If I get them, they'll help. But I don't think I'll need
them. I think once we get out there ... football is football."

--Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake wore a walking boot on his right
foot and did not participate in joint practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Drake told ESPN the injury was "nothing crazy." Head coach Brian Flores told
the Miami Herald that Drake would be sidelined for a while, but he was hopeful
about the back's availability for the season opener.

Drake, 25, is entering his fourth season with the Dolphins, who picked him in
the third round out of Alabama in the 2016 NFL Draft.

--The Atlanta Falcons claimed quarterback Danny Etling off waivers from the
New England Patriots.

Etling, whom the Patriots had tried moving to wide receiver, was waived on
Tuesday. The Falcons need depth after losing quarterback Kurt Benkert to a toe
injury earlier this month.

--The Los Angeles Chargers signed tight end Ben Johnson.

Johnson, 25, spent time in training camp with the Chargers last season as an
undrafted rookie from Kansas.

--Field Level Media

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