Among all the layers of the Jay-Z deal with the NFL, one quote seems to have stuck, and not in a good way.
"I think we’re past kneeling,” Jay-Z said. “I think it’s time for action.”
For the players who actually kneeled during the national anthem to bring awareness to social justice issues, they don’t seem happy with it.
Panthers safety Eric Reid, who kneeled alongside then-teammate Colin Kaepernick, said Jay-Z’s comment was “asinine.” And on Monday, Miami Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills — whose conviction to his beliefs was shown when he took on Dolphins owner Stephen Ross over Ross’ support of Donald Trump — also noticed the comment about being “past kneeling.”
Kenny Stills says Jay-Z ‘didn’t seem very informed’
Stills seemed reluctant to talk about the Jay-Z issue at his locker, but did open up a bit. He didn’t like that Jay-Z didn’t reach out to Kaepernick or himself before entering a deal with the NFL for his Roc Nation company to manage some of the league’s entertainment and social justice ventures.
“Some of the ways he answered his questions, talking about ‘we’re moving past kneeling,’ like he ever protested. He’s not an NFL player,” Stills said, via a video from Cameron Wolfe of ESPN. “Choosing to speak for the people like he had spoken to the people. Sometimes I notice that ... I wonder how many common people that he knows or that he has spoken to. I wonder if he has read my Facebook comments or my Instagram comments or some of the things people say to me. To be able to speak on it and say that we’re moving past something, it didn’t seem very informed.”
Stills seemed reluctant to talk about the issue because he wanted to see what good comes out of the Jay-Z deal first.
“For the most part what I’m trying to say to people is, let’s work toward solutions and let’s see what goes down from this deal,” Stills said. “You can’t tell right now. It doesn’t sit right with me. I don’t think it was handled the right way. But you never know.”
Stills has spoken his mind before
Earlier this month, Stills criticized Ross for managing a fundraiser for Trump, saying it was at odds with Ross’ RISE initiative for equality. He has been one of the leaders of the movement to keep social justice issues at the forefront of the discussion. He still kneels during the anthem before games and said he will continue to do so.
The Jay-Z saga will continue to generate interest. He is incredibly famous, one of the greatest rappers of all time. His business acumen has been celebrated for decades.
The NFL and Jay-Z probably thought the partnership would be celebrated, two of America’s biggest brands coming together. It hasn’t really played out that way so far.
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