By Billy Haisley (Deadspin.com)
It’s safe to say Jay-Z, to some extent, takes cues from Colin Kaepernick. Jay-Z has expressed his admiration of the former quarterback before, once calling him an “iconic figure.” In the aftermath of Kaepernick’s black-balling from the NFL for his peaceful protest of police killing unarmed black men, Jay-Z rejected the league’s offer to have him perform at the Super Bowl in solidarity. And in a disappointing though unsurprising turn of events, Jay-Z has once again followed Kaepernick’s lead by selling himself and the things he represents to a soulless corporation that will use him to sell things.
Yesterday, the NFL announced that it had bought off Jay-Z’s once-seemingly resolute antagonism toward it by reaching an extensive, and presumably quite lucrative, partnership agreement with Jay-Z’s company, Roc Nation. The partnership’s aim is “to enhance the NFL’s live game experiences and to amplify the league’s social justice efforts.” This will include Roc Nation taking the lead on wrangling entertainers to perform at events like the Super Bowl, hopefully saving the NFL from the storm of controversy it endured ahead of the last Super Bowl, when Jay-Z and several other high-profile musical acts snubbed the NFL out of support for Kaepernick, as well as various audio initiatives linking artists whose brands are in part built around projecting an image of sociopolitical-mindfulness and players, who, according to the New York Times, might put together some playlists or podcasts. The revolution may not be televised, but it apparently will be conveniently streamed to your smart phone for you to listen to on your commute to work.