Jay-Z‘s “entertainment and social justice partnership” with the NFL was announced on Tuesday (August 13) to mixed reactions on social media. Through this collaboration, the Brooklyn-born mogul and his Roc Nation team will reportedly consult on the Super Bowl halftime show and will have major input in the corporation’s social initiatives.
“The NFL has a great big platform, and it has to be all-inclusive,” Jigga said of the business relationship. “They were willing to do some things, to make some changes, that we can do some good.”
The partnership led many to wonder whether free agent Colin Kaepernick, who has had a famously strained relationship with the NFL for years, would be involved with the Roc Nation deal, given Hov’s support of Kaepernick’s actions. The former football star’s girlfriend, radio personality Nessa Diab, shed some light on that question on Hot 97 yesterday (August 14).
Diab confirmed that Kaepernick is not involved in the Jay-Z deal with the NFL and was not consulted beforehand. She also expressed “disappointment” in Hov’s decision to work with the league.
“The disappointment in Jay-Z isn’t in the partnership,” she said, according to quotes provided by @CRS_One. “The disappointment is wrapping it in social justice… I don’t mind you doing a business deal, but I do mind you wrapping it in social justice when you’re working with an organization that denies someone an opportunity.”
Her comment was made in reference to Kaepernick’s claim that the league has blackballed him for silently protesting the national anthem by taking a knee during its recitation before each game. He has not played in a professional football game since 2017.
“[Kaepernick] didn’t just take a knee, he put the work behind it. And he lost his career for it,” she continued. “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.”
According to ESPN’s Jason Reid, Jay and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell claimed during a press conference on Wednesday that they spoke with Kaepernick about the initiative.
“I’m not his boss. I can’t just bring him into something. That’s for him to say,” Jay told reporters when asked if the athlete would be involved, according to Complex. “We all do different things. We all work differently for the same results. I don’t knock what he’s doing, and hopefully he doesn’t knock what I’m doing.”
Nessa later took to Twitter to stress that a conversation between Jay, Goodell and Kaepernick never took place:
It’s not clear when Jay’s partnership with the NFL is set to commence.
(Photos from left: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME)