Jay-Z Partners with National Football League to Oversee Entertainment, Social Justice Activism

Lawrence Kim
August 14, 2019

The deal was scheduled to be announced on Wednesday morning, but was leaked by the Front Office Sports website.

As part of the deal, Jay-Z's entertainment company will become the NFL's "live music entertainment strategist", reports ESPN and The New York Times.

The alliance would be a major move for both sides.

Roc Nation's sports unit now represents Saquon Barkley, arguably the league's most exciting young player, taken with the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. 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.

Roc Nation Sports is home to athletes including Saquon Barkley, who was the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft by the New York Giants.

For years, Jay-Z was critical of the NFL's handling of peaceful protests from various players like Colin Kaepernick, who chose to kneel during the national anthem to bring attention to various forms of police brutality.

Jay-Z may have said no to the Superbowl, but he has apparently said yes to a partnership with the NFL. Jay-Z's 11-year old Roc Nation, meanwhile, would be able to point to a partnership with the $15 billion NFL, the nation's most popular and powerful sports league, as it looks to further expand into sports.

The role will make Jay a consultant for the show he so publicly rejected. "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", National Football League commissioner, Roger Goodell told ESPN.

The Kaepernick issue, which crested again earlier this year when Maroon 5 struggled to find black artists to perform with them during their halftime show, has divided the league, entertainers and much of American society.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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