The senseless killing of unarmed Botham Jean at the hands of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger while in his own home weighed on the hearts of many. Two years later, the NFL has unveiled a public service announcement centered around Jean’s killing in conjunction with the NFL and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. This same organization has kept former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick off of NFL fields for the past three years for taking a knee in protest of racism and police brutality. The hypocrisy is as clear as crystal, so the question is, is this PSA a publicity stunt?
The celebration of Jean’s legacy is important as his life was taken without rhyme or reason. But, one can’t help but to question the motive behind the NFL and Roc Nation’s actions because Kaepernick has been without work for three years for standing in solidarity against the very issue that has targeted countless innocent Black men and affected a number of Black families – including Botham Jean’s.
“The launch serves as the third PSA of The Responsibility Program, a joint initiative between Roc Nation and the NFL to unveil PSAs that raise awareness about the need to come together to create change in our communities and respect one another,” the NFL said in a statement to ABC News.
Jemele Hill also pointed to the NFL’s hypocrisy. “I think I remember someone named Colin Kaepernick taking a knee to protest the police killings of unarmed black people and being blackballed from the NFL because of it. I had to have been dreaming, right?” she tweeted on Thursday.
The visual announcement surfaced on Wednesday and is narrated by Jean’s mother, Allison Jean, and sister, Allison Findley. It also features his father, Bertram Jean. The PSA is the latest action the league has taken in support of its’ “Inspire Change” initiative, according to ABC News.
“I’m thankful that the NFL created this PSA to honor Botham’s legacy and deliver an important message about empathy and unity. I truly hope that our society learns from Botham’s story — and the stories of many others — so we can make a lasting change in this world. Together, we must all set a better example for future generations and leaders,” Findley told ABC.
Jay-Z hasn’t spoken publicly on Kaepernick’s protest ever since he stated “we need to move past kneeling” while sitting beside NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during a Q&A following the announcement of his partnership with the organization.
It seems like there has been a change of heart, but the intention behind the change is what’s questionable.