With at least half of his 30 pieces of silver, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter will soon acquire a “significant ownership interest” in an NFL team, reports TMZ, making him the first black person to be an owner in the league’s history. The team itself was not disclosed, but a source told the site that the deal is imminent and that Carter “wants to continue to be a change agent for the NFL”—the old, change the system from within, while of course profiting, which rarely works out because, by the time you look up, you’re Robert Johnson.
As reported on Wednesday by The Root, Jay-Z recently announced a deal with the NFL through his Roc Nation company to advise the embattled league on entertainment and the Super Bowl, and something fuzzy about social justice.
During said presser, Jay did not do well when repeatedly asked about former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who has been effectively blackballed from the league for kneeling for black lives during the 2017 NFL season. He defensively responded to questions about Kaepernick with statements such as: “I think we’re past kneeling...I think it’s time for action.”
Jay previously owned a share of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, in which he purchased a $1 million stake in 2004, but even that deal was controversial in that many believe it sped up the hyper-gentrification tearing up his beloved, native Brooklyn.
Jay has long been in the sports realm, and founded Roc Nation Sports management in 2013, which has signed players such as MLB’s Robinson Cano, the NBA’s Kyrie Irving, and the NFL’s Dez Bryant and Saquon Barkley. TMZ reports that because Jay is not “an NFL agent and does not take part in the operations of the NFL players in Roc Nation,” his interest in Roc Nation Sports would not preclude him from owning a team.
Oh, and back to Kaepernick (because until he’s signed, it’s ALWAYS going to come back to that); Jay said during the Wednesday press conference that he spoke to Kap, but Kaepernick’s longtime girlfriend Nessa Diab contradicted that. Kaepernick himself did not comment directly on the deal but tweeted that that very day marked the three year anniversary of the first time he took a stand (in this case, a seat) against “systemic oppression.”
Kaepernick’s best friend Eric Reid, who also partook in protests, did speak out though; when asked on Friday night about Jay owning a team, Reid, who donned an #ImWithKap jersey, called Jay’s move “despicable.”
“Jay-Z claimed to be a supporter of Colin, he wore his Jersey, he told people not to perform at the Super Bowl because of the treatment the NFL did to Colin, and now he’s going to be a part-owner,” said Reid, smiling and shaking his head. “He’s sounding despicable.”
I mean, Jay did once say he was a “Black Republican”—he should fit right in with his new homies, then.