Jay-Z’s deal with the NFL has been under fire basically since it was announced.
A partnership between the rap mogul’s Roc Nation Sports and the NFL to manage some of the league’s entertainment and social justice ventures faced a number of uncomfortable questions once it emerged that Colin Kaepernick, who Jay-Z has supported against the NFL in the past, was not involved.
Jay-Z had reportedly gone so far as to lobby rapper Travis Scott to drop out of the Super Bowl halftime show over the NFL’s treatment of Kaepernick. Now, he’s associating himself with the league more than Scott ever did and going so far as to declare the movement for change is “past kneeling.” Jay-Z also reportedly claimed he spoke to Kaepernick about the deal, which Kaepernick’s girlfriend said was a lie.
The pressure is now on Jay-Z to show that he can actually deliver change in his new role rather than just be another figurehead for the league.
Eric Reid: Not a fan of Jay-Z right now
Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, one of the partnership’s most strident critics, blasted it again after Friday’s preseason game.
Reid, who went unsigned for an entire offseason after kneeling in protest, had particular contempt for Jay-Z’s “past kneeling” comment.
“When has Jay-Z ever taken a knee?” Reid said. “Yes, he’s done a lot of great work. A lot of great social justice work. But for you to get paid to go into an NFL press conference and say that we’re past kneeling? Again, asinine. Players Coalition 2.0. He got paid to take the bullets that he’s taking now, because we’re not having it.”
Reid also touched on a vague TMZ report that claimed one of the reasons Jay-Z agreed to the deal is that he will soon acquire a “significant ownership interest” in an unspecified NFL team.
“Jay-Z claimed to be a supporter of Colin,” Reid said. “Wore his jersey. Told people not to perform at the Super Bowl because of the treatment that the NFL did to Colin. Now he’s going to be a part owner and it’s kind of despicable.”
Reid definitely isn’t alone in the sports or music world in his opinion, and that, as well as the ownership rumors, might take away some of Jay-Z’s credibility before he can even take the action he’s claiming to seek.
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