Everyone has an opinion when it comes to JAY-Z’s Roc Nation deal with the NFL. It will see his company serve as the “live music entertainment strategist” for the league. As part of the agreement, the NFL will also contribute to the league’s social justice program. After the announcement, the fallout was almost immediate. Many side-eyed the omission of Colin Kaepernick who’s kneeling to bring awareness to matters affecting Black people led to him being blackballed from the National Football League. Hov’s friend and long-time associate Irv Gotti spoke with Page Six about the deal, and he feels the rapper/mogul is being “used like a pawn.”
Speaking with the New York Post’s celebrity gossip column, Gotti who was reluctant to talk about the matter but only did when Page Six “pushed him” on the topic. He states while he hopes that Jay can improve the league from the inside, he feels the NFL used the rapper to “rehabilitate the league’s image.”
Per Page Six:
“To sit there and watch Jay talk [at their recent, widely publicized meeting] while Roger Goodell is sitting there quiet, it almost looks like the NFL manufactured and manipulated Jay to be the front and face of the bulls–t, knowing Jay is so powerful that he can make people forget about [Kaepernick and others] kneeling.”
Gotti called it “a brilliant move for the NFL” and added, “If it was a masterminded plan, then you just used Hov for a masterminded plan and made him look like a pawn in this whole f–king thing.” He added that he’s willing to see how it plays out before making a final judgment on it.
Gotti joins the growing list of people speaking on the Hova’s deal with the NFL. Kaepernick’s brother in protest, Eric Reid and his girlfriend Nessa has publicly called out JAY-Z. Grammy Award-winning songwriter, Bryan-Michael Cox stated that “444” rapper told Jermaine Dupri to pass on a similar deal that was presented him during a phone call. Kap has even responded in an Instagram post as a counter to Jigga’s “we are past kneeling” comments he made during the press conference.
Only Jay-Z and the NFL can clear up the messy rollout at this point.