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Sorry Kaep: Jay-Z’s Commerce & Culture NFL Partnership Failure

Sorry Kaep: Jay-Z’s Commerce & Culture NFL Partnership Failure

By CultureBanx Team

  • Jay-Z’s Roc Nation partners with the NFL for halftime shows and social justice

  • The NFL is a $15B enterprise

Rapper Jay-Z’s Roc Nation company has entered into a Deal with the NFL that blurs the line of culture and commerce by putting a price tag on oppression. He has been a long time outspoken advocate for social justice, however, he’s been committed to capitalism even longer which is on full display with this new partnership. The NFL is a $15 billion enterprise, even after three years of numerous public relations losses surrounding the Colin Kaepernick led kneeling controversy, much at the behest of the rapper. Now has Jay-Z just become a glorified halftime playlist curator, or is this going to actually move the needle on social justice, to which the NFL has already committed $89 million dollars to?

Why This Matters: Both parties billed this partnership as a progressive step to carry on the campaign that got quarterback Kaepernick kicked out of the league. Ultimately, it’s nothing more than a money grab for Jay-Z’s Roc Nation company on one side, and a failed public-relations coup for the NFL on the other side. The financial arrangements for the deal have not been made public. It’s important to recall Kaepernick received less than $10 million to settle his grievances with the league earlier this year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Ultimately, it’s nothing more than a money grab for Jay-Z’s Roc Nation company on one side, and a failed public-relations coup for the NFL on the other side.

TMZ Sports reported Jay-Z is going to have a "significant ownership interest" in an NFL team. Not exactly sure how he’s going to finesse running a sports agency and owning an NFL team, since this is the exact reason he had to divest his ownership in the Brooklyn Nets back in 2013. Let’s remember that nearly 75% of players in the league are African-American and there are no majority black owners.

This year’s Super Bowl game was seen by 100.7 million viewers, the smallest Super Bowl audience in a decade, down 3% from ko-2018, according to Nielsen. The TV audience for what is traditionally the most-watched television event of the year in the U.S. has been dwindling since its 2015 peak of 114.4 million, which is just before Kaepernick took a knee. Overall, the league's TV viewership in 2018 was up around 5% from the prior year. 

Kaepernick is the major one left out in this new deal. In 2014, he signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers. However, in the end, he received $39.4 million from the deal, or about 31% of the total amount. Now if he had won his collusion lawsuit against NFL owners and not settled, he could have been awarded $90 million from the ruling.

What’s Next: Perspective is everything in these types of situations. Either Jay-Z is still the same woke rapper we have heralded as a cultural protector who has given a voice to the oppressed, or his black card should be immediately revoked. Time will tell how this whole thing plays our, as we still don’t know if the rap icon was able to get some sort of assurance that Kaepernick would get another crack at taking the field, something he clearly wants to do. 

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