It was announced earlier this week that Jay-Z partnered with the NFL to help with entertainment and the league’s social justice initiatives. But he’s been criticized by some, namely Colin Kaepernick’s girlfriend Nessa Diab.
Jay and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell talked about the new deal on Wednesday in New York’s Roc Nation offices during a press conference.
At one point, the rapper was asked if Kaepernick would be involved and he said “I’m not his boss. I can’t just bring him into something. That’s for him to say.”
“We all do different things. We all work differently for the same results,” Jay added. “I don’t knock what he’s doing and hopefully he doesn’t knock what I’m doing.”
“The Black Album” creator and Goodell said they spoke to Kaepernick about the partnership, but later Kap’s lawyer Mark Geragos rebutted that claim and said it never happened.
Kaepernick hasn’t played an NFL game since 2016, after he began kneeling for the “Star-Spangled Banner” before games to protest injustices committed against black people and systematic oppression.
On Wednesday Diab took the 49-year-old artist and businessman to task on Twitter and said she was truly let down by the deal.
“The disappointment in Jay-Z isn’t in the partnership. The disappointment is wrapping it in Social Justice,” she tweeted. “Jay has phenomenal music, he’s done so much nobody’s taking that away from him! Do your business! But don’t talk to me about that League when they’re doing dishonorable things.”
“Don’t you dare call it a social justice reform attempt when it comes to working with that company,” she added. “Don’t mess with my family!”
Eric Reid, who kneeled with Kaepernick, also slammed Jay as well as the deal and brought up Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who recently held a fundraiser for Donald Trump‘s reelection campaign.
Ross was recently criticized by Dolphins’ wide receiver Kenny Stills for the fundraiser, which made headlines.
“Interesting timing on the partnership with Jay-Z on the heels of Stephen Ross’ fundraiser for Donald Trump,” tweeted Reid on August 13.
“Forming numerous disingenuous partnerships to address social injustice while collectively blackballing Colin, the person who brought oppression and social injustice to the forefront of the NFL platform,” he added.
Some called Reid a hypocrite, however, because while he blasted Jay for working with the NFL, he still plays for the Carolina Panthers despite Kap still not being in the league.
On Wednesday Kaepernick didn’t mention Jay specifically, but he acknowledged the three year anniversary of when he first kneeled for the national anthem.
“Today marks the three year anniversary of the first time I protested systemic oppression,” he tweeted. “I continue to work and stand with the people in our fight for liberation, despite those who are trying to erase the movement! The movement has always lived with the people!”
He also thanked Reid in a tweet.
“You never turned your back on me or the people, even when the nfl tried to silence your voice & the movement. You’ve never flinched or wavered. I love you Brother! Let’s get it! @E_Reid35” He continued, “And to the people – I see you, I hear you and I love you! Thank you for having my back!!!✊🏾.”