by Cedric ‘BIG CED’ Thornton
February 5, 2020
Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter has inspired change within the National Football League (NFL). Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation has asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to commit the league to spend $100 million on social justice outreach and causes over the next 10 years, according to The New York Times.
Still reeling from the perception that the billionaire businessman is only doing this for the money and has turned his back on former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, this move may change some people’s views on the NFL-Roc Nation partnership. “As long as real people are being hurt and marginalized and losing family members, then yes, I can take a couple rounds of negative press,” Jay-Z tells The New York Times.
Inspire Change,” is the NFL’s initiative regarding education and economic advancement, police and community relations, and criminal justice reform, according to the NFL. “Roger is amazing and we couldn’t be doing this without him,” said Desiree Perez, the new chief executive of Roc Nation. “He has been so supportive of us and is critical to us making change at the N.F.L.”
As Jay-Z has stated previously, he feels the topic and actions of social justice has to move past the kneeling incorporated by Kaepernick. “No one is saying he hasn’t been done wrong,” Jay-Z said. “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.”
The efforts to “inspire change” isn’t just a Jay-Z front. The people in the Roc Nation camp are invested in accomplishing the goal set by both sides of the partnership. “I understand that some say, ‘Why do you want to sit at that table?’” said Tyran Smith, also known as TyTy, an executive of the company and president of A&R. “I’m a curious person. They’re not going to poison my food, I hope. I’m going to learn something and I’m going to share it.”
President of Roc Nation Sports, Juan Perez, also adds “Somebody has to kick in the door and get shot first. We’re that company. We’re not afraid. We’ve been doing it our whole lives.”