The Trouble With Jay-Z, The NFL And The Larger Struggle For Equality And Justice

 

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

 

Jay-Z traded his heroes for gold. It’s a strategy that’s worked since white men started dividing the earth for their own gain. And as such, for love of the almighty dollar and power, the former drug dealer turned hip-hop mogul sold his soul to the highest bidder adopting the tried and true approach of divide and conquer as old as mankind’s recorded history. The only difference between him and a slave on an auction block is that he put himself there to gain a bigger room in the master’s house; the NFL.

As America marks the 400th year since the first Africans arrived on her shores in 1619 as slaves, Jay-Z with his NFL money move disregarding the larger struggle for equality and justice, reminds us that the all mighty dollar still turns brother against sister and slave into slave catcher. The adage, money is the root of all evil, applies as it always has, and Jay-Z sits squarely on that throne in the black community. What compounds the hurt of this shameful deal is his relationship with Colin Kaepernick; a bona-fide modern day civil rights icon in the on-going struggle for justice and equality for black and brown people in America. How Jay-Z can sit in a room full of NFL bigwigs who control the big business of sports, teeth grinning and speaking ill of the struggle is an image not easily digested. Kaepernick sacrificed his career, gave millions to victims of police brutality and the less fortunate, took on the Goliath’s in the room Jay-Z just occupied for more gold coins he doesn’t need, and continues to fight to bring about peace and justice for minorities.

I am reminded of Shirley Graham Du Bois’s words when she discussed the plight of black people in Africa and America after the United Nations declared 1960 the year of Africa. Following the independence of Ghana in 1957, the country’s leaders came together to advocate for the independence of other African countries still under the thumb of European colonialism. The All African People’s Conference in 1958 was a movement that directly correlates with Kaepernick’s advocacy for victims of police brutality, while Jay-Z’s money grab represents the imperialists world with an incessant appetite for wealth and power despite how negatively it impacts others, especially black and brown people. In other words, if the money is enough, your injustice doesn’t matter. “We’re passed kneeling,” Jay-Z said ignorantly beaming like “a hateful negro” in a room full of his masters.

You see, it’s clear, Jay-Z forgot about The Reverend Martin Luther King’s words in his letter from Birmingham stating, “freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor. It must be demanded by the oppressed.” He also forgot that MLK taught us that, “justice too long delayed, is justice denied.” Jay-Z, out for self and clouded by greed, forgot that as the world turns wrongs will be righted despite his disregard for others in the larger struggle for humanity, justice and equality. Like Judas, Jay-Z will undoubtedly answer for the betrayal of his people. The ongoing liberation of Africa is similar to the liberation of black and brown people in America but unfortunately, Jay-Z and his ilk will never co-sign to bring about peace and justice for black people unless the loot makes it worthwhile. Even Beyonce turned black when it became lucrative and popular culture. The SNL skit about her being black hit the nail right on the head. And, remember her L’Oreal commercial before she turned black? Back then her “true match” was Native American, French and black. Today, she’s the queen of Africa… Ok?

Shirley Graham Du Bois once said that one can fly a dozen national flags and sing a dozen national anthems but if your money is controlled by outsiders, you’re not free. And, that’s the ultimate truth of Jay-Z’s deal with the NFL and Beyonce’s new black. For the right price both have consistently played into the hands of those whose aim is to stop black progress in any direction. And, it speaks volume that his only supporters are other wealthy, out of touch black people like Sean Combs and Jermaine Dupri. In the meantime, Kaepernick remains resolute in his stance against police brutality and racism in America and for that, hope remains. Lastly, because symbolism matters, Jay-Z did more harm than good with this NFL deal and that symbolizes something far more powerful than all the money he plans on making or distributing when he signed up to be the real life “hateful negro”.

 

5 thoughts on "The Trouble With Jay-Z, The NFL And The Larger Struggle For Equality And Justice"

Jeffrey Ferris says:

Excellent article. Tokenism works! Just ask Tiger.

jlenoir says:

He’s a great example and benefactor of it. Thank you.

DELROY CONSTANTINE SIMMS says:

Why Professor Michael Eric Dyson Rejects The Language of Betrayal to Describe Jay-Z’s NFL Deal

By Delroy Constantine-Simms
Delroysimms@yahoo.com

Since the revelation that Jay-Z’s Roc Nation[1] and the NFL agreed to partner to run the Inspire Change initiative, Jay-Z has been referred to as a sell-out and a traitor.. Michael Eric Dyson[2], the scholar as well as Jay-Z’s biographer, vehemently defended Jay and his record during an appearance on CNN that incorporated some similar points to Sharpton[3] who asserts that the issues is bigger than a disagreement between two celebrities. Dyson[4] is especially critical of those who engage in name calling, when it comes to Jay-Z. He contends that, “The language of betrayal cannot provide lasting moral satisfaction. Instead, we need a vocabulary of moral accountability and social responsibility that is nuanced and capacious, giving us air to breathe and room to grow.”
In order to defend Jay-Z from the charge of hypocrisy, Dyson (2019) argues that Jay-Z did not write off protest when he said we are “Past kneeling.” He simply cast Kaepernick as a runner in a relay race rather than a boxer fighting alone in the ring. The above analogy is weak. Jay-Z colluded with the NFL, to ensure he could no longer be in the race. As for the boxing analogy, Dyson fails to appreciate that Jay-Z sucker punched Colin Kaepernick, with every intention of knocking ed him out in order to claim that team ownership prize. If Kaepernick has been left to fight alone, it’s because Jay-Z has ensured that no matter what activist ring he steps in, his ability to fight back against his opponents, the very opponents who have effectively been responsible for ending his NFL career, will be severely restricted.
The source of the sell-out charges levelled at Jay-Z relate to the fact that he was once an outspoken critic of the NFL, before he auctioned off his social activism credentials for a range of inducements wrapped up as the Inspiring Change[5] initiative. The timing and announcement of the deal suggests that Jay-Z has been raising his black power fist in support of Colin Kaepernick[6], while secretly signalling to the NFL, that he’s prepared to partner with them for a price. In the eyes of his critics, Jay-Z has simply reinforced his black capitalist traits, in that he’s always willing to auction off his sentiments of accountability and social responsibility to the highest bidder, in this instance, the successful bidder is the NFL.

Dyson (2019)[7] challenges critics of Jay-Z by using the legacy of Malcolm X’s to reinforce the idea, that Jay-Z like Malcom X, does not deserve to be described as a traitor or sell out. In defence of Jay-Z Dyson hangs his argument on the coat rack of a Malcolm X’s quote[8], when he says “The white man pays Rev. Martin Luther King, subsidizes Rev. Martin Luther King, so that Rev. Martin Luther King can continue to teach the Negroes to be defenceless, He was a “modern Uncle Tom.” Elsewhere, Malcolm dubbed King “the best weapon that the white man has ever gotten. Given the falling NFL ratings as a consequence of the national anthem protests, one could argue that Jay-Z is the best weapon that the NFL has ever acquired. If this wasn’t the case, tweet happy Donald Trump would have been the first person to voice his disapproval of the Jay-Z NFL partnership. He’s been silent

Dyson surmises that Malcolm X was also labelled as a sell out after he was criticized for attempting to forge relationships with established civil rights organizations such as the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)[9]. However, Dyson appears to ignore that the difference between Jay-Z and Malcolm X, is that the latter can never be accused of switching allegiances from the Nation of Islam[10] to other organizations for the pursuit of power, status, privilege let alone the possibility of fiscal enrichment, unlike Jay-Z, who’s forged a business partnership with a former adversary on the back of Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest.

A Tale of Two Holes

The charge that Jay-Z selling is sell out, is based on the perception that he’s been speaking and breathing through two holes. He appears to have used one hole to blow caustic anti-NFL rap lyrics, whilst using his other hole to flatulate in the face of Colin Kaepernick and publicly depositing faecal matter on the national anthem protest for personal gain, hence the perception that Jay-Z is full of faecal matter or in lay terms, Shit.
Jay-Z’s new initiative is unlikely to flush, in the toilet of public opinion, no matter how often he tries, which explains the continuous stink emanating from the newly constructed Roc Nation and NFL bathroom, No matter how much Dyson attempts to spray the artificially sweet smell of rational support for Jay-Z’s latest faecal escapade, he’s unlikely to mask that lingering stink of Jay-Z’s hypocrisy or the NFL’s outrageous treatment of Colin Kaepernick. It just won’t go away.
The majority of social justice activists, recognize that the Roca Nation and NFL deal stinks to high heaven, but as they say, if you stay in the bathroom long after someone has done a shit, you don’t notice the smell. Many of us have a very acute sense of smell. Not all of us are tolerant or immune to the stink of hypocrisy. However, there are many who once supported Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest, who do not care about the smell, unless it smells of dollars and cents.
Dyson Name Contradictions

Dyson’s has called on critics to be more measured in their criticism of Jay-Z in terms of their language of betrayal, yet the following four incidents indicate that he has not followed his own advice.
1. In 2015, Professor Eric Mike Dyson engaged in an epic war of pseudo intellectual words with Professor Cornel West[11]. The clash began when Dyson (2015)[12] responded to Dr. Cornel West’s comments in which described Dyson as prostitute cheerleaders and bootlickers for the President Obama In response Dyson (2015) wrote an opinion piece[13] in which he slammed West’s academic work, using venomous language unbecoming of his academic stature.

2. In October 2018, Dyson criticized Kanye West ‘s visit[14] to the Oval Office. Dyson was reacting to West’s efforts to bring Colin Kaepernick to the White House and sit down with President Donald Trump, saying it “doesn’t make sense.” He described his actions as blitzkrieg of blathering ignorance[15], which gives cover to a White Supremacist.

3. In 2018, the MSNBC political analyst Michael Eric Dyson apologized[16] to the very vocal African-American conservative commentator Candace Owens[17] for calling her a “little girl”[18] during a heated debate on the network.

4. In August 2018, at Althea Franklin’s Funeral.[19]Dyson said, “Now, negros scared to say they black. Scared to show up at a too black place. That’s why some black folk ain’t here today. They sending letters, they don’t want to get up in this blackness. They don’t want to feel the nasty power of this blackness. We are black in Detroit. We don’t care. Take your shoes off, dip it in the water, get baptized.”[20]

Hidden but Open Agenda

No one should be surprised, by Dyson’s more or less unconditional support of Jay-Z, after all, he ran a course on the great Messiah, namely Jay-Z[21] at George Town University[22], and let’s not forget, he’s about to release a book[23] on the life of Jay-Z, which begs the obvious question, is Professor Dyson aware of the professional injustices that African-American players face in terms of health issues and coaching opportunities or is he simply ignoring those issues for the sake of being possibly involved in other lucrative social justice actives funded by Jay-Z.
After all, the NFL and Jay-Z are not exactly short or cash or connections. In Dyson’s own words, “Jay-Z didn’t ‘sell out’ by dealing with the NFL. This is just how activism works” Unfortunately, Dyson’s comments reflect the thinking of one of his greatest critics, Professor Cornel West, who stated during an appearance with Tavis Smiley on Democracy Now[24], “I love Brother Mike Dyson, but we’re living in a society where everybody is up for sale.
West’s perceptions regarding Dyson appear to be correct. The arguments used by Dyson to defend Jay-Z are nothing more than an intellectual plea to counter charges of sell out against Jay-Z for supporting Colin Kaepernick, then eventually partnering with the same organization, that banished Colin Kaepernick for his silent protest against police brutality. With this in mind, it’s difficult not to cast Jay-Z as SELL OUT, no matter how much he tries to deflect the charges with phrases such as the time for kneeling has past. He will always be seen as using Kaepernick’s protest for personal gain.
Summary
Professor Michael Eric Dyson, has called on Jay-Z critics to avoid using the language of betrayal, but he appears to have a track record of be throwing stones in glass houses. He has called on others to reject the moral satisfaction from name calling. However, one has to ask if he gained any moral satisfaction from his attack on Cornel West, Kanye West, Candice Owens, and what steps did he take to improve his vocabulary of moral accountability and social responsibility. With all credit to Dyson, he’s been strategically measured in his response to Jay-Z critics calling him names such sell out, by not suffocating them with the intellectual veneer of confusion. He recognizes the vocal presence of a large contingent of Kaepernick supporters, are not impressed by Jay-Z’s hypocritical behaviour, hence unlikely to take heed of Dyson’s call to stop referring to Jay-Z as a sell out or worse.
In fact, they would happily watch the Roc Nation and the NFL initiative sink before it floats. The justification for not wanting to rescue the “Inspiring Change” boat of social justice initiative, is simple, NFL owners continued exclude Colin Kaepernick as a passenger Fortunately for the NFL Jay-Z is their new captain, who’ would rather keep his financial interests afloat, as oppose to have them sunk by supporting Kaepernick and his protest with meaning, hence the charge of sell out. Dyson, may try to discourage the use of such language but alas Jay-z has earned the sell out title with distinction.
REFERENCES
1] https://rocnation.com/
[2] http://michaelericdyson.com/
[3] https://www.vibe.com/2019/08/al-sharpton-says-jay-z-and-colin-kaepernick-nfl-debate-is-the-wrong-fight
[4]https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/jay-z-didnt-sell-out-by-dealing-with-the-nfl-this-is-just-how-activism-works/2019/08/23/17178210-c520-11e9-9986-1fb3e4397be4_story.html
[5] https://www.nfl.com/inspirechange
[6]https://theundefeated.com/features/colin-kaepernick-protests-anthem-over-treatment-of-minorities/
[7]https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/jay-z-didnt-sell-out-by-dealing-with-the-nfl-this-is-just-how-activism-works/2019/08/23/17178210-c520-11e9-9986-1fb3e4397be4_story.html
[8] https://www.jstor.org/stable/20839793?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student_Nonviolent_Coordinating_Committee
[10] https://www.noi.org/
[11] http://www.cornelwest.com/
[12]https://newrepublic.com/article/121550/cornel-wests-rise-fall-our-most-exciting-black-scholar-ghost
[13] https://newrepublic.com/article/121550/cornel-wests-rise-fall-our-most-exciting-black-scholar-ghost
[14]https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/11/us/politics/kanye-trump-white-house-monologue.html
[15]https://www.mediaite.com/tv/michael-eric-dyson-calls-kanye-west-a-blitzkrieg-of-blathering-ignorance-says-he-gives-cover-to-a-white-supremacist/
[16] https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/aug/8/candace-owens-gets-apology-from-michael-eric-dyson/
[17] https://candaceowens.com/
[18]https://thehill.com/homenews/media/400851-msnbcs-dyson-apologizes-to-candace-owens-for-calling-her-a-little-girl-during
[19]https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2018/08/31/michael-eric-dyson-president-donald-trump-lethal-liar/1162592002/
[20]https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2018/08/31/michael-eric-dyson-president-donald-trump-lethal-liar/1162592002/
[21] “Sociology of Hip-Hop – Urban Theodicy of Jay-Z.”
[22]https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/dec/13/school-jayz-studies
[23] https://ew.com/books/2019/07/09/michael-eric-dyson-jay-z-book-announcement/
[24] https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/04/cornel-west-dyson-obama-glen-ford/
________________________________________

DELROY CONSTANTINE SIMMS says:

Activist Al Sharpton Defends Jay-Z’s Controversial Association With The American National Football League

By Delroy Constantine-Simms

When Jay-Z decided to engage in a business relationship with the NFL, the hip-hop mogul should have expected some backlash, after it was announced that his Roc Nation company would take over the NFL’s entertainment event platforms, like the Super Bowl, while helping to push the league’s newly created “Inspire Change” initiative. The announcement received a mixed reception. Jay-Z has been accused of enabling the NFL to use him to bury Colin Kaepernick and the spirit of his protest and have even called him cast him as a Judas and a sell- out.
In defence of Jay-Z, Activist Al Sharpton[1] suggests that the Jay-Z-NFL-Kaepernick debate was missing one key component that, if included, would put the controversy into what he said was its proper, larger context. Sharpton (2019) asserts “This ain’t about Colin Kaepernick’s knee, it’s about choking Eric Garner to death!” Sharpton, went on to cite Tamir Rice[2] and Michael Brown[3] as other unarmed Black males killed by police, was referring to the absence of justice as NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo [4]avoided criminal charges and has kept his high-paying job more than five years after being was recorded on video choking Garner to death in broad daylight. The reverend used the death of Eric Garner[5] explain what should matter most in the overall social justice narrative.
He concludes by asserting that “This ain’t no battle for athletes and superstars, it’s about people being trampled on,” he exclaimed. “Don’t let them distract you fighting the wrong fight!” Sharpton (2019) went on to cite Jay-Z’s notable contributions on the social justice front. “I’m not attacking Jay-Z,” he said before emphasizing that he was more concerned with justice for Garner and other Black victims of police brutality that has gone unpunished.[6]
In essence, Sharpton is arguing that Colin Kaepernick’s protest has served its purpose, as far as he is concerned, and it’s time to move on. In the wider context its difficult to refute Sharpton’s comments, his sentiments echo the dismissive comments of Jay-Z who stated that the time for kneeling has passed. Sharpton is right, the public should not be distracted from the fact that it was the silent protest of Colin Kaepernick that kept the issue of police brutality, firmly in the mind of the American public. However, Sharpton is to minimize and essential dismiss the fact that Colin Kaepernick was punished for using his to knee as form of protest. He is wrong to dismiss the current angst over the Roc Nation Deal and Colin Kaepernick as simply a battle between athletes and super stars, that sort of position is simplistic, to say the least. Sharpton may not have meant to minimize the actions of Colin Kaepernick, but he should remember the events of the 1968 Mexico Olympics[7] in which two legendary African-American athletes Tommy Smith[8] and John Carlos[9], bowed their heads and raised their clenched fist while the national anthem was played during the medial award ceremony. The political impact and personal consequences of their public yet silent protest has never been forgotten and in some cases, never forgiven. Sharpton should also appreciate that the hostility expressed towards Smith and Carlos for their raised fist protest in 1968, is no different to when Colin Kaepernick, first took a knee in 2016.
He should also recognize that it was Kaepernick’s knee that created the catalyst for contemporary protests against police brutality across the USA and beyond. Sharpton needs to appreciate, that it certainly wasn’t one of Sharpton’s speeches, campaigns or initiatives that gained widespread attention regarding the issue of police brutality, it was Kaepernick’s knee not Jay-Z’s mouth. Furthermore, Sharpton fails to appreciate that the NFL punished Colin Kaepernick have laid down the terms and conditions of how the mainly African-American NFL players should express their first amendment rights in the future. Simply put, they are being told that they should suit up, shut up and play ball.
Therefore, its incumbent on Sharpton to give Kaepernick, his due respect as oppose to running rough shod over his silent protest by way of his knee, as if it did not matter. On reflection, one should not be surprised by Al Sharpton’s support of Jay-Z, when it comes to fiscal power and cultural influence, Colin Kaepernick, cannot match him. So, let’s not gasp in shock when Jay-Z through his “Inspire Change” initiative, makes a donation to Al Sharpton’s organization under the guise of social justice.

INTERNET REFERENCES
[1] https://www.vibe.com/2019/08/al-sharpton-says-jay-z-and-colin-kaepernick-nfl-debate-is-the-wrong-fight
[2] https://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/2017/01/tamir_rice_shooting_a_breakdow.html
[3]https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2017/mar/14/michael-shooting-new-surveillance-footage-video
[4]https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/08/19/eric-garners-death-officer-daniel-pantaleo-fired/2051861001/
[5] http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/what-killed-eric-garner
[6] https://enterprisersuite.com/pitting-jay-z-against-colin-kaepernick-is-the-wrong-fight-al-sharpton-says/
[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_Summer_Olympics
[8] https://time.com/3880999/black-power-salute-tommie-smith-and-john-carlos-at-the-1968-olympics/
[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Carlos

DELROY CONSTANTINE SIMMS says:

Did Jay-Z Sell Out Colin Kaerpnick For
Thirty Pieces Of NFL Silver?

By Delroy Constantine-Simms

In an effort to boost the NFL’s efforts around social justice, Roc Nation, the entertainment company founded by iconic rapper, businessman and activist Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter[1] entered into a long-term partnership with the National Football League[2] as the league’s official Live Music Entertainment Strategists, which means Jay-Z will be able to pick choose and refuse which artist are given exposure at NFL related or sponsored events.
The partnership is said to part of the NFL’s 100th season[3] and will serve as a commitment from Roc Nation and the NFL to nurture and strengthen community through music and the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative[4]. The press release claims that the most important benefits to the NFL is that Roc Nation, through its position as a global entertainment leader, could enhance the Inspire Change platform[5] in ways that the league would not be able to on its own.
The program, which is run by the NFL and its players, focuses on education and economic advancement, improving police-community relations and criminal justice reform. Jay-Z believes Roc Nation and the NFL will accomplish big things together. “With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country,” Moreover, “Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas, instead, we unify them. This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America.” [6] Likewise, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is equally by the possibilities. “Roc Nation is one of the most globally influential and impactful organizations in entertainment. The NFL and Roc Nation share a vision of inspiring meaningful social change across our country. We are thrilled to partner with Roc Nation and look forward to making a difference in our communities together.”[7]
The deal will also mean that Roc Nation, can reach out to artists who are not attached to the company, in order to catapult the creation and distribution of music content across multiple music and streaming services, as well as consult and collaborate on the production, promotion and marketing of live music events. A Pro Bowl community concert, original music, artists podcasts and a live visual album may be produced under the new banner.
Scepticism
This NFL partnership with the Roc Nation has been greeted with scepticism and rightly so. Despite the NFL’s efforts to back the “Players Coalition”[8]—a grantmaking advocacy organization focused on “criminal justice reform, law enforcement/community relations and education.” the NFL is still struggling with image issues and continues to lack credibility with many African Americans, due to its handling of the American national anthem crisis including their involvement in effectively ending the NFL career of Colin Kaepernick.
The Roc Nation and NFL mission statement, is ambitious to say the least, but there are few questions of concern. Does the NFL really think that entertainment alone can make a difference in terms of social injustices? Does the NFL not appreciate that most rationale people will simply see this new partnership as nothing more than a strategy to rebuild their damaged imaged, after their disgraceful treatment of Colin Kaepernick? Can the parties behind the Inspire Change Initiative not appreciate that its quite obvious that the NFL are simply trying to take any form of Kaepernick influenced protest off the field?
These question are indirectly answered by Eric Reid who said[9] the Jay- Z partnership is “Players Coalition 2.0″—and it’s easy to see why, especially when Roc Nation and the Players Coalition have teamed up under the auspices of the “Inspired Change” initiative. After all, says Carlisle (2019) both initiatives seem to serve a similar purpose, paradoxically framing the very organization that retaliated against Kaepernick’s activism as one dedicated to social justice[10]
Further scepticism regarding this partnership is borne out the fact that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a life-long Democrat and friend of Donald Trump[11]developed a friendship with Jay-Z through their mutual efforts to secure the release from prison[12]of Meek Mill in April 2018. Robert Kraft’s proximity to not only Meek, but this initiative, raises questions,[13] this is because Kraft is a prominent friend and supporter of President Donald Trump[14], who campaigned on the type of “tough on crime” platform that has been correlated with the rise of mass incarceration in the U.S. Consequently, in January 2019, Meek launched a $50 million criminal justice reform organization called REFORM Alliance along with JAY-Z, activist and CNN commentator Van Jones, Rubin, and Kraft, among others. Which is why former ESPN personality Jemele Hill, questions Kraft’s role in brokering a social justice partnership between the NFL and rap mogul Jay-Z[15] She also accuses Robert Kraft of using his “white privilege” and trafficking in the “cultural capital of black entertainers for the sole purpose of rebranding the NFL for political and economic reasons.

Is Jay-Z A Neo Judas?
The answer to that question is as follows. Jay-Z, the once “woke” activist appears to be sleep walking right into the NFL snake pit of deceit wrapped up in the guise of social justice. The relationship between Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and Roger Goodall, is certainly no accident. This was confirmed in a 2018 meeting with the players and owners, of which The New York Times obtained leaked audio, Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula stated as much:[16] “We need a spokesman. For us to have a face, as an African-American, at least a face that could be in the media, we could fall in behind that.”
Jay-Z appears to be oblivious to the idea that he’s been specifically targeted as the ideal black face who’s been unwittingly groomed by NFL team owner Robert Kraft[17] as the ideal black face to represent a pseudo social injustice image through the NFL financed “Inspire Change” initiative. Unfortunately, Jay-Z has foolishly accepted the NFL’s invitation into their Gethsemane house of strategic manipulation and deceit. Naturally, the Chief NFL snake and negotiator Roger Goodell, is delighted that Jay-Z has set aside his vociferous criticism of the NFL, by crossing the picket line. In essence, moving from Kaepernick supporter and NFL dissenter to NFL supporter and surrogate. Insightfully, Carlisle (2019)[18] argues in “The NFL Is Using Jay To Avoid Accountability, “That the partnership reads as philanthropy with a dash of advisory, it’s conceivably a path to one of the most powerful billionaire’s clubs in America, not to mention the country’s most profitable sports league. Not coincidentally, rumors of a deal for the rapper who sold his minority ownership stake[19] of the Brooklyn Nets in 2013 to obtain a significant ownership interest in an NFL team.”
Fools Choice
In celebration of the partnership, Goodell appears to be been more than happy to indulge Jay-Z with a menu of NFL recommended culinary delights, including strange fruit and desserts which are said to best served cold. Unbeknown to Jay-Z, the NFL catering staff, have been instructed to ensure there is an abundance of fruit which symbolize Compromise, Self-interest, Money, NFL team ownership. While fruits which represent Conscience; Justice for Kaepernick, Fair play, are strictly forbidden, as they are deemed to toxic for those without a sense of justice. Unfortunately, Jay-Z appears to have been successfully bamboozled and hypnotized by the NFL snake of deceit into consuming excessive amounts of moral bankruptcy, self-interest, and sell out. On reflection, the once “woke” Jay Z appears to have been morally anesthetized by the prospect of making a lot of betrayal silver. If this a new Jay-Z’s reality, then Jay-Z should seriously consider changing his stage from Jay-Z to Jay-I, that is Judas Iscariot. It makes sense, after all, it’s clear that Jay-Z or I, continues to have 99 problems, but a selling out ain’t one.
Those with any biblical knowledge all know what happened to Judas. Let’s hope that Jay-Z gets the opportunity to wake up and mend the error of his ways, by appreciating that no matter whatever NFL initiates he is associated with, Jay-Z has to accept that many observers consider him to be nothing more than a well-paid black face surrogate, for the NFL whose sole objective is to clean up the embarrassing mess they created regarding the national anthem protest and their outrageous treatment of Colin Kaepernick,[20] who was simply engaged in peaceful protest against police brutality, not protest against the NFL.
In support of the NFL, Jay-Z argues that “Kneeling was not about a job[21]”; it was about injustice. Let me bring attention to injustice. Everybody’s saying, ‘How are you going forward if Kap doesn’t have a job?’ This wasn’t about him having a job.” In a way, he’s right: Kaepernick’s demonstration during the anthem wasn’t about not having a job (he had one at the time); it was about police brutality and racial inequality. It only became a question of his employment after every NFL team decided that he was untouchable, and refused to sign him in favour of lesser talents.
Carlisle (2019)[22] argues that this is such an obvious point, that one wonders just how blind Jay- Z is to the NFL franchise owner attitudes on social justice and why is he so willing to render his services to the NFL. Jay-Z claim that he is fighting against injustice represents exactly the sort of direct action that Kaepernick’s demonstrations called for is a hard sell when he continues to ignore the injustice under his nose, that is the banishment of Jay-Z from the NFL game.
Jay-Z attempts to address the irony of partnering with an organization that, despite its sudden interest in social justice, continues to ostracize social justice’s most visible proponent in football, Colin Kaepernick. Carlisle (2019) correctly construes that Jay Z’s partnership with the NFL is a remarkably diabolical trifecta, that accomplishes a comfortable framing of solutions to racial injustice as charity is perceived as removing accountability from the league’s owners, and further portrays Colin Kaepernick as a pariah. As a consequence of this Jay-Z collusion with the NFL, Jay-Z joins the League, Commissioner Roger Goodell, President Donald Trump, and Vice President Mike Pence in perpetuating the injustice that’s one of the easiest to undo. Jay-Z has given the NFL exactly what it desired, guilt-free access to black audiences, culture, entertainers, and influencers. In essence Jay-Z is like the Roger Goodell’s new Black boyfriend yearning to seek approval from the mainly white NFL franchise owner family.
Now that Jay-Z has their blessing, it’s fair to assume that some of those entertainers who distanced themselves[23] may be willing bite the hypnotic apple of NFL temptation, without realizing, that by kissing the cheek of boycott good bye, they are simply be selling their services for a share of Jay-Z Iscariot’s 30 pieces of silver. If Jay-Z’s underhand business practices are anything to go by, none of them should be surprised if they could all end up with fool’s gold.
Subliminal Warnings To Activists
Jay-Z’s partnership with the NFL has its share of sceptics and those sceptics have one more thing to criticize. One of the Inspire Change initiative’s beneficiaries is the Crushers Club, a Chicago-based non-profit working with at-risk kids. The NFL plans to give $400,000 to the Crushers Club, but the non-profit has come under scrutiny after critics found old tweets with some questionable content, particularly a post in which one of the program’s white female directors appears to be cutting the dreadlocks of a black child, including the often used anti Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter[24] rebuttal.
While the donation may have been offered in good faith, the image of a white female cutting the dreadlocks of a black boy, on the premise that cutting of dreadlocks improves life chances is highly questionable. American society as a whole, frowns on any African-American hairstyle that represents resistance and protest. The NFL organization is not that different, but since 70% of the NFL players are African-American,[25] it’s highly unlikely that the NFL is remotely interested in implementing a no dreadlocks hair policy[26] on dreadlocks wearing players, anytime soon.
However, it’s hard not to ignore that the Crushers Club with their dreadlocks cutting initiative is due to be the first recipient of the NFL and Roc Nation funded, Inspire Change initiative. Its also difficult ignore the multiple subliminal messages being sent to aspiring and current NFL players, which is assume the position, shut up and play ball, while subtly informing Colin Kaepernick[27] to cut his iconic Afro[28], stand during the national anthem, and maybe he’ll be offered the opportunity to try out or even play for the NFL once more. Sadly, there is an old native American saying, White men speak with fork tongue. Colin Kaepernick would be a fool to trust the NFL, especially when they have strategically employed a black face like Jay-Z who has proved on several occasions, that his loyalty has always been up for auction to the highest bidder.

Summary
While Jay-Z or Jay- I (Iscariot) may reap massive fiscal rewards and even acquire the status of being the 1st African-American NFL football franchise owner. Jay-Z should recognize that poachers who become game keepers, face ridicule and loss of credibility. In many quarters Jay-Z will have difficulty escaping charges of being a sell-out.[29] Jay-Z may not be troubled by such charges, but there is one thing he should never forget, reputation is more precious than gold. Sadly, Jay-Z appears to have willingly exchanged reputational gold for NFL betrayal silver.
Jay-Z released a very successful album entitled “Blue Print”.[30] Given that Jay-Z he is now collaborating with the NFL, with a strong musical focus. It would make sense if he asked members of the public to suggest a few titles for future albums or selected tracks. If Jay-Z and the NFL through the Inspiring Change initiative decided to release Blue Print II, I would suggest the following titles: “Sold Out 2019; Turn Coat; No Fxxxing Loyalty, (NFL). My favourite track title, which reflects my general disdain for Jay-Z and his current collaboration with the NFL, after they colluded to banish Colin Kaepernick from the NFL as a player, has to be “30 Pieces of Silver” remixed in Gethsemane Garden studios, I’m not sure that Jay-Z and his supporters would agree or even care about this article or the suggested track titles and the subliminal messages being sent.
I’m sure that Jay-Z’ and his public relations team have more pressing issues to deal. Given that Jay-Z claims he is not a business man, he is a “business man”,[31] with 99 problems[32], but a conscience ain’t one, if you have ever doubted this to be the case, Colin Kaepernick for further comment.

CITATIONS

[1] Jay-Z From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[2] https://www.nfl.com
[3] https://www.nfl.com/100/
[4]https://oaklandnewsnow.com/2019/01/12/nfl-inspire-change-platforms-an-answer-to-player-protests-inspirechange/
[5] https://www.nfl.com/inspirechange
[6] https://rocnation.com/roc-nation-nfl-entertainment-strategist/
[7] https://rocnation.com/roc-nation-nfl-entertainment-strategist/
[8]https://playerscoalitionshop.com/
[9] https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43kvpg/the-nfl-is-using-jay-z-to-avoid-accountability-colin-kaepernick
[10] https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43kvpg/the-nfl-is-using-jay-z-to-avoid-accountability-colin-kaepernick
[11] https://www.businessinsider.com/patriots-owner-robert-kraft-loyal-to-donald-trump-2017-1
[12] https://www.spin.com/2018/04/meek-mill-released-prison/
[13] https://pitchfork.com/levels/is-meek-mills-friendship-with-trump-supporter-robert-kraft-an-unholy-alliance/
[14] https://pitchfork.com/levels/is-meek-mills-friendship-with-trump-supporter-robert-kraft-an-unholy-alliance/
[15] https://www.headlineoftheday.com/2019/08/15/racist-jemele-hill-accuses-patriots-robert-kraft-of-using-white-privilege-in-brokering/
[16] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/25/sports/nfl-owners-kaepernick.html
[17] https://www.nj.com/giants/2019/08/how-patriots-owner-robert-kraft-brought-jay-z-and-nfl-together.html
[18]https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43kvpg/the-nfl-is-using-jay-z-to-avoid-accountability-colin-kaepernick
[19] https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1761135-jay-z-reportedly-selling-nets-shares-to-jason-kidd
[20] https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/02/sports/football/colin-kaepernick-kneels-national-anthem-pr
[21] https://www.skysports.com/nfl/news/12118/11785513/jay-z-still-backs-protests-and-kneeling-after-agreeing-nfl-partnership
[22] https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43kvpg/the-nfl-is-using-jay-z-to-avoid-accountability-colin-kaepernick
[23]https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/super-bowl-2019-celebrities-support-colin-kaepernick-boycott-game/
[24] https://www.thefader.com/2019/09/05/jay-z-nfl-crushers-club-chicago-dreadlocks-all-lives-matter
[25]https://www.huffpost.com/entry/70-of-nfl-players-are-black-men-colin-kaepernick_b_57c7b12be4b07addc4114047
[26] https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/u-s-court-rules-dreadlock-ban-during-hiring-process-legal-n652211
[27]https://www.huffpost.com/entry/colin-kaepernick-shows-unapologetic-pride-with-afro-in-full-formation_n_57c98a80e4b0e60d31dec94b
[28] https://www.huffpost.com/entry/colin-kaepernick-shows-unapologetic-pride-with-afro-in-full-formation_n_57c98a80e4b0e60d31dec94b
[29] https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2849975-eric-reid-says-jay-z-is-approaching-being-a-sellout-amid-nfl-ownership-rumors
[30] https://www.allmusic.com/album/the-blueprint-mw0000013442
[31] https://www.allmusic.com/album/the-blueprint-mw0000013442
[32] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/99_Problems
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