Jay-Z isn’t against the idea of NFL players taking a knee at the start of games, but he does think the movement has expanded.
During a press conference that was held on Wednesday (Aug. 14), Jay and NFL Commissioner Robert Goodell went into detail about the new partnership between the NFL and Roc Nation. With representatives for both companies present, they discussed the new content ideas they have planned to roll out. At some point during the conference, the topics of kneeling and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick were addressed.
“I think we’ve passed kneeling,” Jay explained after a reporter asked him if he would kneel or stand. “I think it’s time to go to actionable items.”
While Hov said he thinks we’ve passed the point of taking a knee before games, he went on to say he still supported that form of protest.
“I don’t want people to stop protesting at all,” Hov said. “Kneeling—I know we’re stuck on it ’cause it’s a real thing—it’s a form of protest. I support protesting across the board.”
“I’m not minimizing [protests] because that has to happen, that’s a necessary part of the process,” Jay continued. “And now we all know what’s going on. What are we going to do? How are we gonna stop, because the kneeling was not about a job, it was about injustice. Let me bring attention to injustice. Everyone’s saying, ‘How are you going forward if Kaep doesn’t have a job.’ This wasn’t about him having a job. That became a part of the discussion. He was kneeling to bring attention to injustice. We know what it is. Now how do we address the injustice?”
There has been increased controversy surrounding the NFL since Kaepernick’s unceremonious exit amid the controversy surrounding him taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games.
Despite many other more controversial players finding jobs in the interim, Kaepernick hasn’t been able to find a job, which has led to people to think he’s been blackballed from the league. Earlier this year, the embattled quarterback reached a settlement with the NFL after accusing the league of colluding to prevent his re-entry into the league.
Jay-Z, who has been an outspoken supporter of Kaepernick throughout his time kneeling before games and in the time afterward, says he talked to Kaepernick about his partnership with the NFL. However, he would not disclose what was discussed.
Hov says himself and the NFL hope to affect social change while facilitating entertainment opportunities. They plan to use their already established Inspire Change initiative to work toward the former.
“With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country,” he said in a press release. “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.”
Goodell is on the same page. “Roc Nation is one of the most globally influential and impactful organizations in entertainment,” said Goodell. “The NFL and Roc Nation share a vision of inspiring meaningful social change across our country. We are thrilled to partner with Roc Nation and look forward to making a difference in our communities together.”
Some of the entertainment ideas include, “a Live Visual Album, “Songs of the Season” original music, archived and current content from live NFL music events and artist podcasts.”
Jay-Z is not performing at next year’s Super Bowl.
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