Jay-Z’s Roc Nation recently announced its partnership with the NFL to “enhance live game experiences and amplify the league’s social justice efforts,” as BBC reports.
Last year, the Brooklyn MC rapped, “I said no to the Super Bowl, you need me, I don’t need you.” Apparently, the NFL agrees; they’ve reached out to Jay-Z’s for a partnership that will, among other things, see the veteran rapper assist in producing content for the NFL, including the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
The multi-year partnership aims to increase the league’s entertainment offerings.
Jay-Z said that the deal will “inspire change.” “Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas; instead, we unify them,” the rapper stated.
“This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America,” Jay-Z continued. “The NFL were willing to do some things, to make some changes, that we can do some good.”
Jay-Z’s diss of the Super Bowl was a result of one of the most polarizing controversies in recent sports history, when, in 2016, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the National Anthem as a protest against police brutality and social injustice in the U.S.
Other NFL players followed suit, which resulted in Donald Trump criticizing the efforts and labeling Kaepernick’s actions as “disrespectful to our heritage.”
The aforementioned lyrics that Jay-Z rapped were in reference to showing solidarity with Kaepernick, who hasn’t played in the NFL since leaving the 49ers in 2016. The rapper also called for the NFL “to be all-inclusive” during a recent interview.
Cardi B is also another rapper who has commented on the NFL. The Bronx rapper previously said that she would only perform during the half-time show “when they hire Colin Kaepernick back.”
Roc Nation’s NFL initiative, Inspire Change, focuses on education and economic advancement, improving police-community relations and criminal justice reform, which Jay-Z will play a key part in.
The rapper will also oversee the artists booked for the Super Bowl and produce the Halftime show.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said of Roc Nation,”[it is] one of the most globally influential and impactful organizations in entertainment.” “The NFL and Roc Nation share a vision of inspiring meaningful social change across our country.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Roc Nation and look forward to making a difference in our communities together,” he continued.
Roc Nation represents international artists including Rihanna, Meek Mill, and Lil Uzi Vert.