The rapper Jay-Z always had a track record that placed him among those who put their voice on issues of injustice, funded causes, and used his place in society to leverage many an argument. So, it is hard to accept and see him in the situation that he has placed himself in – making a deal with the NFL even though he knows that its backlash is going to affect the career of a player, even if indirectly.
Jay-Z has been known to support former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest to question the police brutality and racial abuse targeting the African-Americans, and this about-turn is somewhat out of character.
The deal –Jay-Z will work along with NFL in a partnership as a live entertainer strategist, to inspire change in several sectors – education, economic, community relations, among others. You can search here for NFL tickets without service fees to watch the important games of the upcoming season.
This sounds strange and so let us put all we know down just so we can see if the picture is more explicit:
· Jay-Z and his Roc Nation Entertainment Company are being part of the new NFL deal that’s aimed to enhance social change that the NFL has been known for.
· It could be seen as a step forward towards the fight against racism.
· The rapper has previously supported Kaepernick, and to show that he had worn a t-shirt to that effect.
· Jay-Z has been known to comment that it was time to move beyond kneeling and go on to taking an actual action to solve a problem.
· Perhaps even a rapper does not always get to choose who he does business with, and is it all about work or is there a side still to be revealed?
· The kneeling was about injustice towards a race, and perhaps the rapper is taking that whole race forward in his own way as he had been known to do throughout his career.
· His comments have not cleared the issue when he replied: “I’m not interested in how things look on the outside.”
· But he later added, “If protesting on the field is the most effective way, then protest on the field. But, if you have a vehicle that you can use to inspire change, you can speak to the masses, and educate at the same time.”
· The deal, while it is not a plus, but it does not rule out all the efforts that the rapper has made over the years.
· Colin Kaepernick’s action of kneeling as a protest during the national anthem has opened the door to others to follow, and hence the NFL threatened players with fines if they did not show the respect that the national anthem deserves.
· The NFL was faced with a many-faced problem and has been suffering the backlash, so perhaps this partnership was perceived as a PR move in the right direction.
As many-faceted as the issue seems, the coming days may clear the position Jay-Z has placed himself in or perhaps not. We need to give our favorite rapper the benefit of the doubt, and remember all the issues in which he used his voice and position – as a rapper, as the respect he deserves, and a person of color who put his voice out there.