Jay Z and Roc Nation have been flexing their political muscle and influence quite a bit recently and it’s been one of the most refreshing things to witness.
Last year they hired lawyers for Meek Mill who got locked up for a petty probation violation; last month they helped form a coalition called The Reform Alliance to help push prison reform. Additionally, it was Hov who intervened in 21 Savage’s case when ICE officials wanted to deport him due to his expired visa.
Now, The Root is reporting that Roc Nation has stepped in to help an 11-year-old boy who refused to stand for the pledge of allegiance case dismissed.
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Jabari Talbot, an 11-year old student at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland, Florida, was arrested in school after he exercised his right to not participate in the Pledge of Allegiance. We stand with Jabari and his mother, Ms. Talbot, to stop the over-policing and criminalization of Black students in school. "Sometimes you have to jump into untested waters but don’t let that stop you from swimming.” – #JabariTalbot #TeamRoc
On On Feb. 4, Jabari Talbot told his substitute teacher at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland, Fl., that the American flag is racist against Black people and that he wouldn’t be standing.
According to Bay News 9, the teacher recapped everything in a handwritten statement, saying: “Why if it was so bad here he did not go to another place to live,” she reportedly told him.
Talbot responded, “They brought me here.”
She said: “Well you can always go back because I came here from Cuba and the day I feel I’m not welcome here any more I would find another place to live.” She added, “Then I had to call the office because I did not want to continue dealing with him.”
Shortly after Jabari was arrested by a school resource officer on counts that he’d been disruptive and refused to obey commands. The arrest affidavit also states that Jabari threatened the substitute teacher with physical violence and told the principal and arresting officer he would get them fired.
The moment went viral and eventually got to Roc Nation’s desk where they enlisted the help of attorney Alex Spiro to assist.
“Jabari is a courageous and intelligent young man who deserves all the credit for standing up for his beliefs,” Spiro said in a statement obtained via Complex.
“He should’ve never been arrested or entangled in this situation—his freedom of speech rights were clearly protected under the First Amendment.”
— Team Roc (@teamroc) March 1, 2019
The ROC nation team’s case prevailed and the case has now been dismissed. In a statement to Complex, Talbot’s mom thanked the Roc Nation family for their efforts and commitment to justice.
“My son and I are grateful for all the athletes, entertainers, Roc Nation and community of supporters that have raised awareness about this injustice and showed their support—both publicly and privately […]” she said.
Talbot’s mother continued,
“Although Jabari’s case has been dismissed, I do want people to know this isn’t just about my son—this prejudice happens to African-American kids all across the country. The fight isn’t over, which is why I have a civil rights complaint pending with the U.S. Department of Education. At the end of the day, I want to ensure that no child ever has to experience this injustice again and we will appreciate everyone’s continued support.”
A company that was once founded on artist management, has now moved on to being a full-on label, sports agency, and crisis firm?
Well done, Hov. Well done.