Roc Nation, an entertainment company owned by hip-hop legend Jay-Z, has formed a multi-year partnership with the NFL. The goal is to “enhance live game experiences and amplify the league’s social justice efforts.”
“With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country,” Jay-Z said in a statement. “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.”
According to the NFL, “As part of the agreement, Roc Nation will advise on the selection of artists for major NFL performances like the Super Bowl.”
Jay-Z has been critical of the NFL in the past, famously turning down the Super Bowl halftime show.
Ever since Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem before games to protest racial injustice and police brutality, the NFL’s stand on social justice issues has been criticized. Kaepernick and fellow player Eric Reid settled a collusion case—reportedly for millions of dollars—after they remained unsigned following their participation in the demonstrations. Reid later signed a new contract with a new team. Kaepernick remains unsigned.
Jay-Z wore a Colin Kaepernick jersey during a 2017 appearance on Saturday Night Live.
Following the announcement, Reid took to Twitter, questioning the new partnership, and noted that Miami Dolphins part-owner Stephen Ross recently held a fundraiser for President Trump.
Interesting timing on the partnership with Jay-Z on the heels of Stephen Ross’ fundraiser for Donald Trump and the backlash his other companies are getting because of it. #PayAttentionFolks
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) August 14, 2019