The Super Bowl invokes a lot of emotion from a lot of different people, nearly splitting the Black community down the middle. And with Jay-z inking his historic deal with the NFL almost half a year ago, Black folk have become even more divided.
Many love Jay-Z. His lyrical gifts. His industrial nature and hustle-like mentality. His taste in women. Even his drip. He has become an icon representing self-determination and prosperity to so many in urban America. Particularly, when it was revealed in 2019 by Forbes magazine that the “Can’t Knock the Hustle” emcee had become a billionaire.
At the same time, we love Colin Kaepernick. His sportsmanship. His work ethic. His principles and courage to speak out. That he is educated and a Kappa. This stood out when in 2017 when everyone wanted him to be their man of the year for his commitment to bringing attention to police violence against Black and Brown people.
Even Jay-Z was riding. In 2017, Jay-Z took to SNL for their season premiere and rocked Kap’s jersey.
So, when he seemingly did a turnaround and started working with the NFL, even under the cloak of moving them towards a place of social justice and investment, people thought he turned his back on Kap.
Even Kap’s girl chimed in.
But reports said that Jay-Z attempted to make it right. It was leaked that he has something to do with Kap’s workout session last fall (even though that was a mess).
This much can be said.
Since Jay-Z has been working with the NFL, there have been a few initiatives that have been implemented with the aim to do the work that both men stand for.
According to the NFL‘s website:
Since April 2018, more than $25 million in grants have been awarded to social justice organizations as part of the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative. This includes more than 500 grants awarded to current and former NFL players for nonprofits across the country.
As part of the NFL’s 100th season Inspire Change efforts, the league is adding six new social justice grants and two grant renewals recently approved by the joint NFL players-owners working group. These new grants and renewals total nearly $3 million and are in addition to the grants previously announced in January 2019 and June 2019. The league is also introducing new Inspire Change videos to raise awareness about social justice.
Seems like there is some work being done. But does it jive? Does this still allow Kap to been seen as a sacrificial cow, while his brother sits bullishly at the table with those who have served him up?
In a New York Times interview with Jay-Z published over the weekend, the Roc Nation head honcho 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?’”
He went on to say, “We are two adult men who disagree on the tactic but are marching for the same cause.”
And this speaks to the grand act of protest that he and his wife Beyoncé and their daughter engaged in during Super Bowl LIV. Were they gangsta like on some Spook That Sat by The Door sh*t? Seems like it?
But then you note that Demi Lovato is signed to Roc Nation’s management and the other part of Jay-Z’s deal with the NFL is to provide talent for their events.
It is hard to decipher.
What everyone does know is that sometimes you can’t make money with people who don’t mind pushing over our/your brother… there is a bag elsewhere.
But hold up… how many other rappers and Black entertainers were rocking with Kap and were out at the Super Bowl popping bottles.
Bishop Desmond Tutu offers this, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”