Colin Kaepernick’s ongoing feud with the NFL, especially the practice session on Saturday, has left many people divided. From Stephen A. Smith to Eric Reid to Ava DuVernay, there are strong opinions. However, one thing many haven’t forgotten is Jay-Z’s so-called social justice partnership that was launched a few months ago. Jay has remained silent on the issue since he told America we are “beyond kneeling” with Roger Goodell smiling next to him.
However, many are asking if the NFL set up the rapper to be the fall guy on the endless hiccups with race.
According to Complex, a “source” says that Mr. Carter was “disappointed” with Kaepernick, believing he turned the workout into a “publicity stunt.” Don’t forget this is the rapper who allegedly told Travis Scott to not perform at the Super Bowl because he was standing with Kaep.
If this is true, some people are hypothesizing Jay’s real role with the NFL. Activist Bree Newsome wrote on Twitter, “Again, the white ownership of the NFL cut a deal w/ Jay-Z to perform this exact function, to act as the token minority spokesperson to uphold the white power structure & downplay the issues of racism within professional football.”
Another user wrote, “Well intentioned (or not) Jay-Z should’ve NEVER positioned himself with the NFL when it comes to equality, social justice, and race relations issues. He’ll be maligned and blamed at every end and corner when the NFL fucks up (cause, obviously) on any of these issues.”
A third Twitter user pointed out the ongoing theme of celebrities being the fall guy for a corporation’s racism writing, “@NFL is getting help #BlackWashing over its racism. >#Kaepernick is banned from NFL for protesting police brutality against black people, so the NFL partners with Jay-Z. >#Racist #PapaJohn’s give @SHAQ seat on its board. @Stephenssmith of course plays his part.”
In case you missed it, Kaepernick’s Saturday workout took an unexpected turn when the NFL demanded that he sign an unusual liability waiver. According to a statement from Kaepernick’s attorney Ben Meiselas and agent Jeff Nalley, “From the outset, Mr. Kaepernick requested a legitimate process and from the outset the NFL league office has not provided one. Most recently, the NFL has demanded that as a precondition to the workout, Mr. Kaepernick sign an unusual liability waiver that addresses employment-related issues and rejected the standard liability waiver from physical injury proposed by Mr. Kaepernick’s representatives….Mr. Kaepernick simply asks for a transparent and open process which is why a new location has been selected for today.”
The waiver would have required Kaepernick to acknowledge that he was made “no promise of employment” by participating in a workout. This was protection for the NFL because if they expressed a desire to keep him out of the league, this could possibly give grounds to file a lawsuit or a second collusion grievance, similar to the first collusion grievance Kaepernick filed against the NFL.
Keapernick — who believes that the NFL blackballed him from the league from 2017 to 2019 because he took a knee and spoke out against police brutality — would not want to surrender his ability to invoke certain legal rights in the future.
Kaepernick relocated the workout to an Atlanta-area high school.
After the workout, Kaep said, “I’ve been ready for three years. I’ve been denied for three years. We all know why. I came out here and showed it today in front of everybody. We have nothing to hide. So we’re waiting for the 32 owners, the 32 teams, Roger Goodell to stop running. Stop running from the truth. Stop running from the people.”
With Jay-Z be their side, the NFL always has a cover for their racism. The question is, is Jay-Z a knowing participant? Because as he famously said, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.”