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JAY-Z talks using NFL partnership to champion social justice

The rap mogul opened up about his alliance with the National Football League.

Jay Z

With the Super Bowl taking place later today (Feb. 2), JAY-Z sat down with The New York Times to speak about his partnership with the NFL, social justice and more.

In 2019, JAY’s Roc Nation and NFL alliance granted him influence over the football league’s musical events, including the Super Bowl halftime show, and was contingent on the request that the NFL spend $100 million over the next decade on social justice efforts. At the time, some critics were confused by JAY’s partnership with the league. However, he says he can take the criticism in stride as long as he’s making progress in the fight against police brutality and social injustice.

“As long as real people are being hurt and marginalized and losing family members, then yes, I can take a couple rounds of negative press,” he told the outlet.

Spotlight had especially been turned toward the league following Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful National Anthem protests. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was subsequently blackballed from the NFL for criticizing police brutality.

“No one is saying he hasn’t been done wrong,” JAY addressed the situation. “He was done wrong. I would understand if it was three months ago. But it was three years ago and someone needs to say, ‘What do we do now — because people are still dying?’”

JAY also said that although he and Kaepernick have different strategies when it comes to the league, they are fighting toward the same goal.

“We are two adult men who disagree on the tactic but are marching for the same cause,” he said.

Beyond his partnership with the NFL, JAY’s Team Roc—the philanthropic arm of Roc Nation— has already made great strides, with the latest being the fight against inhumane treatment at Mississippi state prisons. Team Roc and Yo Gotti have led the cause by exposing the terrible conditions inside Mississippi’s Parchman prison and pressuring the state’s governing officials to change their prison system.

Last year, Meek Mill, Roc Nation and the NFL also launched the “Everyone’s Child” PSA series, highlighting the community-wide effects of police brutality. The video series has gone on to tell the tragic stories of Botham Jean, Antwon Rose II, Danroy “DJ” Henry and more.

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