Sports

NFL teams up with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation on entertainment, social activism

NFL teams up with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation on entertainment, social activism

The NFL is poised to announce a sweeping business partnership with Jay-Z's Roc Nation, sources tell Front Office Sports. Partnering with Jay-Z's firm would help give the National Football League more credibility while tapping the knowledge of a wide-ranging entertainment company with its finger on the pulse of the younger, urban audience.

On Tuesday, it was reported the rapper and his Roc Nation agency are partnering with the NFL on community activism and entertainment ventures tied to league events.

Kaepernick made a decision to sit and then kneel during the National Anthem before several 2016 NFL preseason and regular-season games to protest the police shootings of black men and other social injustices faced by African-Americans.

The NFL has faced controversy in recent years over how it handles players protesting racial and social justice, most notably with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the national anthem. "Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas - instead, we unify them".

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While the entertainment portion of the deal is important - Roc Nation's stable includes Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Shakira and, of course, Jay-Z - much emphasis from both the league and the representation group is being placed on the social relations aspect of the agreement.

He became a free agent in 2017 but no team offered him a contract. This was emblematic of a larger problem facing the league: Many prominent black artists were refusing to be associated with the league due to its treatment of Colin Kaepernick.

"Roc Nation is one of the most globally influential and impactful organizations in entertainment", Goodell said. Goodell told the times, "We don't want people to come in and necessarily agree with us; we want people to come in and tell us what we can do better".

In a show of support, JAY-Z reportedly declined a performance at the Super Bowl Halftime Show.