Alicia Keys has created a $1 billion endowment for Black businesses in partnership with the NFL, according to Billboard. The singer, who will be performing at tonight’s NFL Kickoff event for the 2020 season explained her reasoning for teaming up with the league, even after its problematic approach to protests for Black lives.
“We are already seeing the blatant injustices that are going on around us,” Keys told Billboard. “As an artist, I’m always thinking about how can I use my platform to further racial equity. This fund is one of the answers and our goal is to empower Black America through investing in Black businesses, Black investors, institutions, entrepreneurs, schools and banks in a way to create sustainable solutions.”
She also elaborated on the future goals of the fund, saying, “The initial goal of $1 billion is to ensure a substantial commitment. Even with that, it does not come close to closing the economic gap. The next steps are to reach out to different industries to invite them to invest in racial justice and create a multi-billion dollar endowment across business sectors.”
The NFL had previously teamed with Jay-Z, appointing the rapper and music mogul its “Live Music Entertainment Strategist” in a move that drew split reactions from the hip-hop community after the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick and Jay’s outspoken support for the blackballed quarterback.