In the days since the NFL announced its groundbreaking, potentially lucrative, and controversial deal with Jay-Z, a number of voices have chimed in to give their opinions. Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick’s partner Nessa Diab both criticized the deal as it seemed to exclude the NFL making any concessions toward the blackballed quarterback and Uproxx’s own Andre Gee took commenters to task for not understanding Jay’s commitment to capitalism in the first place. Jay-Z himself tried to defend the deal, explaining that it’s about the “next thing,” but that hasn’t stopped the censure from rolling in like a thunderstorm.
Now, even one of Jay’s own fledglings, Rihanna, seems to be piling on — albeit more subtly than the other names mentioned above. Instead, she co-signed a more outspoken critic: Social activist Shaun King, who wrote a biting, lengthy post on Instagram critiquing the move. Rihanna liked the post, captioned “Jay Z was wrong,” along with around 43,000 others to date, a moment that was captured by gossip account @theneighborhoodtalk before being reversed for obvious reasons. Rihanna’s concern is significant because she is signed to Roc Nation, Jay’s label, and has been since she first got her start in the music industry — thanks largely to Jay’s former position as President at Def Jam Recordings. For his own artist and mentee to disapprove of this move, it’s clear that Jay may have to do a lot more damage control before he regains public trust — although, that may only last until his next big business deal.