It is the storyline that keeps on giving to the mainstream media: The ongoing conflict between former football athlete Colin Kaepernick, the National Football League, and the league’s current athletes.
Now, rapper Jay-Z has been brought into the controversy after his company, Roc Nation, partnered with the NFL on social justice activism.
Roc Nation is now an entertainment and community outreach partner for the NFL, and upon the announcement, Jay-Z said, “We’ve moved past kneeling, and I think it’s time to go into actionable items.”
That comment inflamed several current NFL athletes, with some calling Jay-Z a hypocrite.
As background, Kaepernick began kneeling in 2016 during the playing of the American national anthem before football games. Kaepernick protested the actions of police officers against the black community, which was further inflamed when he wore a Che Guevara t-shirt in a locker room full of reporters and also when he wore socks that depicted police officers as pigs during warm-up exercises. President Donald Trump criticized Kaepernick’s protests on Twitter, which added more to the controversy. Kaepernick has been out of the league since the end of the 2016 season, settled a lawsuit with the NFL over whether he was blacklisted from playing, and is currently a social justice activist looking for another shot at the NFL.
Kaepernick had an ally in Eric Reid, an NFL athlete who is currently playing in the league. Reid criticized Jay-Z’s partnership on Twitter and said the rapper “made a money move with the very people who’ve committed an injustice against Colin.”
It is astonishing the media continues to run with the Kaepernick story three years later, especially now that Trump has buried the issue and wished Kaepernick well in finding work in the NFL someday. Bleacher Report, which is owned by the Turner media group that also owns CNN, ran an article on the revived controversy. NBC News also profiled Kaepernick in a recent article on what sparked his anti-police activism.