It’s really going to be tough for Jay-Z to stay silent as footage of him discussing social justice with NFL owners resurfaced and circulated the web this weekend.
In the video, which didn’t seem like a big deal at the time when it first came out in January, you can hear the 49-year-old billionaire touching on topics that, especially in today’s social and political climate, would rub folks the wrong way.
Sitting along with Jay-Z was fellow rapper Meek Mill, Patriots partner Robert Kraft, Philadelphia 76ers co-partner Michael Rubin, Brooklyn Nets co-partner Clara Wu Tsai and others to launch the Reform Alliance. An initiative created by the group to address criminal justice issues.
Still, Jay blamed single-parent households for negative police relations regarding Black people, defended jailing with discretion, and sympathized with “hard-working” taxpayers who pay for jails.
In the videos, Jay says single-parent houses give people an “adverse feeling toward authority” which causes them to tell police “f*ck you,” resulting in interactions that “causes people to lose lives,” which, seemingly, puts the blame of police/civilian casualties on the victims.
One could argue that these clips are out of context and that bigger points are being lost but what’s not up for debate is the outrage it’s brought forth, adding to what has already been a rocky — no pun intended — partnership with the NFL.
The weirdest thing about the Jay Z interview is that he figures a father is the only legitimate authority in a house and in the absence of a man the next person with a penis is most powerful, even if it’s a just a boy. The woman who raised you ain’t shit.
— Musa Gwebani (@musa_gwebani) September 1, 2019
Jay Z just gaslit the entire Black community.
— IAM (@IndyaMoore) September 1, 2019
“Y’all respect the one who got shot, i respect the shooter” -Jay Z on police brutality
— Maine Wyatt (@ThaMaineEvent) September 1, 2019
The sports and hip-hop community were both torn in half three weeks ago after the announcement that Jay-Z would be the NFL’s new ‘Live Music Entertainment Strategist’ and “contributor” to the NFL’s activism campaign, Inspire Change, as part of the Roc Nation partnership.
Jay-Z, who is beloved in the hip-hop community and has even survived a cheating scandal with Queen B, couldn’t quite win people over with this one. It was pointed out that Jay-Z has rapped about not needing the NFL, advised Travis Scott not to perform at the halftime Superbowl show, and left out Collin Kaepernick, the man who brought all this to our attention.
There were NFL players like Eric Reid — a former teammate of Kaepernick who was blackballed until his return to the league last year — who brought to our attention that the partnership conveniently took place on the public’s knowledge of Stephen Ross’ fundraiser for Donald Trump and pundits like Stephen A. Smith, who called the partnership “beautiful.”
You even had individuals like New York radio host, Charlamagne who took both sides, saying in an Instagram post, “it may not work but why root against it.”
Eric Reid on news Jay-Z will be a part-owner. “Kind of despicable.” pic.twitter.com/6zDMdJIzwV
— Joe Person (@josephperson) August 17, 2019
The resurfacing of the footage from Jay’s meeting with NFL owners earlier this year, however, adds a new lens. It puts his supporters in a pickle as all the fears of Black capitalism and Jay-Z being an NFL puppet become more prevalent in popular conversation. Especially, when their first roll-out of actionable items this past week was the culmination of hoodies to purchase.
“Today, the NFL and Roc Nation announced the launch of Inspire Change apparel and Songs of the Season as part of their new partnership. Inspire Change apparel, a new social enterprise model, will fund and support Inspire Change programs across the country,” the official press release on Thursday said in part.
Whew. The world only loves black single moms on draft day.
— Tiff Roberts (@shedefendsit) September 1, 2019
In a video, Jay Z blamed the killings of Black people by police on the anger young Black people have for growing up in a house without their fathers. Tell me more about chess is played.
— Preston Mitchum (@PrestonMitchum) August 31, 2019
Jay-Z has managed to stay silent on the anger he’s incited so far, but I’m not sure how much longer he can go without clearing up what appears to be everyone’s concern.
Meghan Trainor, Meek Mill, Rapsody, and DJ Pharris will be performing a free concert at Grant Park in Chicago on Thursday, Sept. 5 where proceeds from the concert will be donated to social justice organizations before the first game of the season kicks off between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field.
Jay-Z says he’s in it for change, let’s just hope this isn’t the extent of it.