Jay-Z could have declined to do business with the NFL until the NFL committed to continuing doing business with Colin Kaepernick. Jay-Z decided that the ongoing shunning of Kaepernick was not a dealbreaker.
“We forget that Colin’s whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice,” Jay-Z said Wednesday, via ESPN.com. “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?'”
Well, for starters, we quit blackballing the person who sparked the movement. But that’s apparently not part of this arrangement.
“For me it’s like action, [an] actionable item, what are we gonna do with it?” Jay-Z said. “Everyone heard, we hear what you’re saying, and everybody knows I agree with what you’re saying [in Kaepernick’s underlying message]. So what are we gonna do? You know what I’m saying? [Help] millions and millions of people, or we get stuck on Colin not having a job.”
As former Kaepernick teammate Eric Reid, now a safety in Carolina, pointed out on Twitter, the answer can be both.
“These aren’t mutually exclusive,” Reid said. “They can both happen at the same time! It looks like your goal was to make millions and millions of dollars by assisting the NFL in burying Colin’s career.”
Let’s put this in a different context. There’s a chronically unsafe condition in a factory, presenting a serious risk to the safety of all employees. One of the employees decides to loudly complain about the safety risk, and management fires him for doing it.
But the employee keeps complaining, and others eventually join in. Eventually, management has no choice but to fix the unsafe condition. And then management fixes the unsafe condition, but it refuses to reinstate the employee who was fired for being the first one to complain about it.
That’s basically what’s going on with the NFL and Kaepernick, and Jay-Z is pointing to the fact that the NFL has gotten the message while glossing over the fact that it has killed the career of the messenger.