Jay-Z Explains Why He Partnered With The NFL Despite His Support Of Colin Kaepernick

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Yesterday, when it was announced that Jay-Z’s Roc Nation had partnered with the NFL on a new deal to make the mogul the league’s “live music entertainment strategist,” some fans were miffed by the seeming about-face from the Roc Nation chief. Just a year ago, he was sporting a Colin Kaepernick jersey on television in support of the blackballed quarterback while also turning down offers to perform at the Super Bowl — and trying to convince other artists to do the same. Critics called out the perceived hypocrisy, but to his credit, Jay isn’t shying away from their questions.

In a press conference discussing the move, Jay “didn’t duck questions about the fact that he struck a deal with the NFL despite Colin Kaepernick still not having a job,” according to ESPN’s Jason Reid, who writes for The Undefeated. Reid recounted the press conference on Twitter, writing that “J’s position is that he’s focused on trying to help as many people as he can and working on the system from within. From his perspective, the protests were about shining a light on the problem and everyone now knows what the problem is. Now, what’s next?”

As far as the accusations from some online critics who say that Jay’s move betrayed Kaepernick, Reid says, “J shared that he spoke with Kaep, but he didn’t reveal what was said.” Meanwhile, Kaepernick has apparently been staying in shape in case he gets a call despite receiving an undisclosed settlement from the NFL in his collusion case against it.