Just before Super Bowl LIV, Jay-Z is shedding light on his partnership with the NFL, which sparked criticism when it was first announced in 2019.
The rapper and Roc Nation mogul acts as the league’s live music entertainment strategist — this year’s halftime show in Miami will star Roc Nation client Shakira with Jennifer Lopez — and oversees the NFL’s social justice initiative, Inspire Change.
“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,” Jay-Z said in an interview with the New York Times published on Saturday (Feb. 1).
Speaking of Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback whose protest against social injustice he’d voiced support for prior to announcing his alignment with the league, Jay said: “No one is saying he hasn’t been done wrong. 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?’”
“We are two adult men who disagree on the tactic but are marching for the same cause,” he explained.
As part of the deal, Roc Nation asked the NFL to spend $100 million on social justice outreach and causes throughout the next decade.
According to the Times, during Sunday’s Super Bowl, the league will sponsor the broadcast of a public service video as part of a series that shows the stories of black men killed by police.