Jay-Z Says We’ve Passed Kneeling: It’s Time To Go Into Some Actionable Items
Jay-Z sparked lots of controversy after he signed a partnership with the NFL to promote social justice within the league. Now, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation will have a hand in selecting performers for high-profile events, like the Super Bowl.
Some had an issue with the rapper teaming up with the NFL despite former player Colin Kaepernick’s very public protest against the league. Kaepernick made headlines after he kneeled during the national anthem to call out police brutality in 2016. He hasn’t signed with an NFL team since and has been allegedly blacklisted.
So, now some have expressed their disappointment that Jay-Z has crossed lines and united with the NFL on a new initiative. And a video of Jay-Z explaining his decision might not have helped.
When asked if he would kneel or stand, Jay-Z said during a press conference,
“I think we’ve passed kneeling. I think it’s time to go into actionable items. I think everyone knows what the issue is, and we’re done with that.”
He then went around the room and randomly asked people if they knew why the protests began, and they said yes. Jay-Z added,
“We all know the issue now. Okay, next. Where are we moving on next? And I’m not… again, to be clear, for the room, I’m not minimizing that part of it. That has to happen. That’s a necessary part of the process. Now we all know what’s going on. What are we going to do? How are we going to stop? How are gonna stop? The kneeling wasn’t about a job, it was about injustice. Let me bring attention to injustice. Everyone’s saying, ‘How are you going forward and Kaep doesn’t have a job?’ This wasn’t about him having a job.”
Still, some fans are calling out Jay-Z for the partnership after he reportedly told Travis Scott not to perform at the Super Bowl this year. While Scott and rapper Big Boi still hit the stage, the main performer was Adam Levine.
Jay-Z explained his stance on that during the press conference as well.
“Well, we had to have a conversation right, because, there was a lot of talk around Adam Levine’s performance in Atlanta, and me being vocal about stepping back from performing as well. I think that sparked some of the conversation [with the NFL] as well.”
“Nobody asked about it, but my problem with Travis Scott wasn’t about him not playing football, my problem was that he had the biggest year to me. Last year, he had a monster record — ‘Sicko Mode’ — and he’s playing on a stage with an M on it. I don’t see any reason for him to pay second fiddle to anyone that year and that was my problem.”
“You take four artists and everyone thinks they’re playing the Super Bowl, it’s almost like this interview process. And so I pick Chuck, the other three people get upset. So, that’s not even good math. After three years, nine people upset and three people played. … I think the process should have been a little more definitive. … You speak to someone and you let them have it and you move on. And I think then let the artists be artists.”
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