Jay-Z, Roc Nation, and the National Football League are all teaming up.
It was announced by the New York Times that Roc Nation would serve as the “live music entertainment strategist.” As part of this deal, the NFL will consult with Roc Nation on entertainment, including the Super Bowl halftime show, and contributing to the league’s social-justice program, Inspire Change, which donates money to groups fighting for criminal justice reform.
This news may come as a bit of a surprise to Jay-Z fans, especially because he has been particularly vocal about his opposition to the NFL in lieu of the Colin Kaepernick situation. Hov, also reportedly turned down an offer to perform at Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Later Hov would rap about it in the song ‘Apeshit,’ “I said no to the Superbowl, you need me, I don’t need you. Every night we in the end zone, tell the NFL we in stadiums too.”
This partnership appears to be bridging a gap between the hip hop mogul, and the biggest sports league in North America. With the collab the NFL will hope to improve it’s imagine within youth urban circles, while also moving past the handling of the Colin Kaepernick ordeal. Jay-Z will now be exposed to the many business partners the NFL has available along with it’s uber large fan base.
“The N.F.L. has a great big platform, and it has to be all-inclusive,” Jay-Z said in an interview this week. “They were willing to do some things, to make some changes, that we can do some good.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the partnership will allow people who look a lot like its players, black, to finally have a voice in letting them know when they’re doing something that is not a smart move, “we don’t want people to come in and necessarily agree with us; we want people to come in and tell us what we can do better, I think that’s a core element of our relationship between the two organizations, and with Jay and I personally.”
Jay’s move could potentially be seen as a hypocritical move, but I would be hesitant to call it that, I trust that Jay is smart, and savvy enough not to be used in this situation. However, when dealing with an institution with as racially controversial as the NFL, you can never be sure.