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One day soon, I hope to look like a fool.
Because in that potential future, the Players Coalition will still be giving back to their communities while also bringing awareness to social issues on Sundays, and Jay Z will be the owner of an NFL franchise that’s led by Colin Kaepernick.
That’s my hope.
But my reality is much different.
Because in the same way that Malcolm Jenkins and the Players Coalition turned their backs on Kaepernick as soon as the NFL opened its wallet, Jay Z has followed in their footsteps.
Black men have sold out one of their own for the almighty dollar in the name of “business” and “philanthropy.”
The O’Jays once wrote a song about it.
As the questions, concerns, and criticisms have escalated towards Jay Z ever since he was chumming it up with Roger Goodell at their press conference last week, I just keep thinking about how wrong all of this still feels.
Jay Z had all the leverage here, and still somehow didn’t make it a stipulation for Kaepernick to get a job in a league in which Nathan Peterman could wind up being on a roster in Oakland, as the Philadelphia Eagles have talked a 40-year-old Josh McCown out of retirement.
The hypocrisy alone shows that the blackball is still ongoing, while the settlement of the collusion case proves it.
But yet, Jay Z still fumbled.
Because when a former drug dealer, turned legit entrepreneur, turned rapper becomes a billionaire, it isn’t because he’s a terrible deal maker. If you get that far in life, you know how to get what you want at the negotiating table.
“You need me, I don’t need you,” is what he said, remember?
This leads me to believe that just like the Players Coalition, Jay Z never prioritized Kaepernick in any of his discussions with the NFL. It’s as if they both viewed his potential return to the field as the pseudo “cherry on top” when in fact, he should have been the entire dessert.
Back when Jay Z appeared on Van Jones’ show in January of 2018, he said some really good things at the time. But like they say, hindsight is 20/20. Because when you compare what he said then, to what he’s doing now, you’ll walk away feeling like we should have seen this coming.
“You just put his name next to Muhammad Ali,” he said to Jones when asked how he would have counseled Kaepernick if he was his agent.
“Would you rather be playing football getting your head dinged in? Or would you rather be an iconic figure for the rest of your life? We confuse the idea of having a job with fulfilling your purpose.”
For a guy who has never had to write his raps down due to his amazing memory, Jay Z sure did forget about what Ali actually accomplished. Because Ali was able to fulfill his purpose while also doing his job.
You can do both, and Ali is proof.
Kaepernick hasn’t been allowed to come back and regain his glory in football in the same way that Ali did after he was exiled in boxing. That probably could have changed if Jay Z didn’t use Kaepernick as a springboard to a potential NFL ownership position.
This isn’t “crabs in a barrel”, it’s a cruel game of leapfrog.
Should Jay Z be canceled?
He’s done too much for Black America for us to completely turn our backs on him. But we should be giving him a serious side-eye.
Should Jay Z take a step back to absorb the criticism?
No one is above critique. “God makes no mistakes, I made a few,” he rapped on “Glory.”
And will dropping another great album make some people forget about all of this?
But what’s done is done, as Jay Z has made his decision. All we can do now is hope that more details of his deal with the NFL will emerge, proving that he didn’t do what it looks like he did.
But if that doesn’t happen, there will be a telltale sign that we won’t be able to ignore.
A tweet from Donald Trump congratulating him on his new NFL endeavors.
“I got your President tweetin’, I won’t even meet with him.” – Shawn Corey Carter.