UPDATED: 1:27 p.m. EDT, Sept. 6 — The founder of one of the organizations Jay-Z‘s NFL social justice partnership recently donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to was apologizing for her past behavior that critics were calling racist.
The Crusher’s Club was given $200,000 by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation along with the NFL as part of the rapper’s recent social justice partnership with the pro football league. But social media sleuths found past tweets from Crusher’s Club showing its founder cutting dreadlocks off young Black men because it is “symbolic of change and their desire for a better life!”
Crushers Club founder Sally Hazelgrove told USA Today in an email on Friday that she was sorry.
“Out of 500 youth going through our doors I cut two young men’s hair because they asked me to and we are a family structure and so I did it and didn’t really think about it after that,” Hazelgrove wrote. “I tweeted about it without much thought. It’s hair. but I regret it now and I promise you I will not be doing that again if asked.”
She said the negative response to her group being awarded the funding caught her off guard.
“The hatred and accusations from this took me by surprise. … The backlash has been hard to be honest,” she said.
The tweets in question were deleted on Friday, but people across social media had already preserved them.
Crusher’s Club also issued a brief statement saying it does not have a policy forbidding dreadlocks.
Crusher’s Club has a mission statement “to be the strongest alternative to gangs” and to “arm young people with the support and skills they need to restore their lives and improve their neighborhood.”
The controversial donation was the latest scrutiny given to Jay-Z’s social justice partnership with the NFL, which many people have said was undercutting the social justice efforts against the NFL by blacklisted quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who seemed to accuse the rapper of trying to “erase the movement” he started.
According to Variety, Roc Nation and the NFL donated $400,000 to two Chicago charities: the Better Boys Foundation Family Services organization and The Crusher’s Club. However, the latter has some past questionable behavior. A photo from 2016 surfaced showing a white woman cutting off a Black young man’s dreadlocks as “symbolic of change and their desire for a better life!”
Kind of awkward considering Jay has locs.
Crusher’s Club is also part of the All Lives Matter tribe, tweeting in July of 2016, “Praying for Police victims in Dallas lets use this to come together not to be divided more ALL LIVES MATTER United we stand Divided we fall.”
And, most disturbingly, it seems to believe Trump is the answer to gun violence in Chicago. It tweeted to a Fox News analyst in August, “Thank you for constantly speaking out for Chicagp (sic) & those of us working against gang violence. We need Trump to help us. Sad to say we need a curfew while we address our current crisis of gun violence. And we need prayer always!”
Sounds like Jay-Z needs prayers.
In case you missed it, the Brooklyn native met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and said we are “past kneeling” – which some took as a dig to Colin Kaepernick and his kneeling protest during the national anthem — and it’s time for “actionable items.”
Now it is being reported that the rapper will be part owner of an NFL team.
On Aug. 14, Kaepernick marked the third year of his kneeling protest during the playing of the national anthem with a social media post of his own saying in no uncertain terms that he would continue “to work and stand with the people in our fight for liberation, despite those who are trying to erase the movement!”
See the post below.
Jay has also been slammed by Jemele Hill, Dr. Cornell W. Brooks, the former president of the NAACP, and many more. Many have accused the rapper of selling out, especially since he once wore his jersey and allegedly told Travis Scott not to perform at the Superbowl.