Jay-Z’s reach over the social justice realm just got extended that much farther after it was announced on Tuesday that one of his companies was teaming up with the NFL for “an “entertainment and social justice partnership.”
According to the Washington Post, Roc Nation, the entertainment company founded by the business, man, that already seems to have its hand in every aspect of the culture, has agreed to partner with the NFL that will allow Jay-Z to manage “some entertainment options for the league and will tie into the sport’s social justice endeavors.”
That includes being able to control key aspects of the NFL’s famous Super Bowl halftime show that was famously snubbed by Beyonce’s husband last year.
The Post reported that Jay was cautiously optimistic about the partnership.
“I think we have autonomy,” he said of Roc Nation’s involvement with the NFL’s social justice initiatives and the halftime show. “I anticipate that there will be a lot of — with any big organization, in this building right here we have internal problems. Anything that’s new is going to go through its growing pains. We put what we want to do on the table. The NFL agreed to it. So we’re gonna proceed with that as if we have a partnership.”
The announcement came after the start of the NFL’s preseason that has seen a number of players continue kneeling during the national anthem to protest that systemic racism that has long tainted the nation’s criminal justice system. It was unclear whether free-agent and Super Bowl quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who famously started the kneeling protests back in 2016 before the NFL seemingly blackballed him, was involved in any aspect of the deal.
Jay-Z seemed to be a smart choice for the NFL to align itself with. Not only is he a cultural icon, Roc Nation has become increasingly influential when it comes to social justice issues. That includes helping to get his fellow rappers Meek Mill and 21 Savage out of legal trouble recently. The NAACP also honored Jay earlier this year with its coveted President’s Award winner, a prize that recognizes the honoree’s distinguished record in public service.
Jay has also made a ton of social justice noise in the area of film, something he recently announced he would continue doing. He co-produced the poignant documentary “Time: The Kalief Browder Story,” helped develop a miniseries about Trayvon Martin and was involved in the creation of the “Free Meek” docuseries which delves into the Philadelphia rapper’s journey against America’s unjust criminal justice system. For his next project, Jay-Z said he was teaming up with Will Smith to produce a television series for ABC called “Women of the Movement” that intends to capture stories from the Jim Crow era through the lens of Black women.