The NFL signing an entertainment and social justice partnership with Jay-Z has rocked both sports fans and the hip hop community.
The controversy surrounding the partnership has sparked a number of opinions both for and against the idea, Complex reports. Grammy-winning songwriter Bryan Cox is the latest celebrity to weigh in on the deal, alleging that JAY-Z personally phoned Jermaine Dupri less than a year ago and advised him to turn down a similar deal.
Cox didn’t specify the language of Dupri’s deal, but many have concluded that it was tied to the NFL’s bid to get the music mogul to produce a 10-day series of free shows in Atlanta ahead of Super Bowl 53.
“I’m not saying that it can’t turn into some good shit,” Cox said of the partnership. “We’re also talking about a guy who single-handedly picked up the phone and called Jermaine to tell him not to do it…. When we all had that meeting with the NFL, all that sh*t was part of the same sh*t.
“I’m not gonna condemn it and be like, ‘That sh*t’s wack,’” he continued. “For me, I want to look at it intelligently because I know a lot of what was happening before and how we were engaged last year as a community…. At the end of the day, [Dupri] took a beating for doing the same shit. And I guarantee you they didn’t pay him as much as they’re about to pay [JAY].”
Dupri himself has yet to addressed Cox’s claim.
You can watch Cox tell it via the clip below. The conversation starts around the 14:35 mark:
Meanwhile, Jay-Z previously supported Colin Kaepernick’s silent protest during the National Anthem, he even refused to perform at the Super Bowl. Which is why his deal with the league to become a “live music entertainment strategist” and advise the “Inspire Change” campaign, has many giving him the side-eye.
TMZ also reports that Jigga will receive a “significant ownership interest” in a NFL team, though which one is not currently specified. Both deals have been criticized by Kaepernick and his supporters, including former ESPN commentator Jemele Hill.
“Jay-Z isn’t getting enough out of the deal to justify the sacrifice of some of his credibility,” Hill wrote this past week. “This alliance plays right into the NFL’s hands, because the league seems determined to banish any memory of Kaepernick with its recent social-justice efforts–even though it’s likely that Jay-Z and the NFL wouldn’t even be entering into this arrangement if Kaepernick hadn’t taken a knee in 2016.”
During his press conference on Wednesday, Jay was asked directly if he would kneel or stand, as Kaepernick protested the national anthem before football games by kneeling in order to raise social injustice awareness.
“I see two parts of protesting. You go outside and you protest; and then the company or the individual says, ‘I hear you. What do we do next?’” Jay-Z added. “I think we have moved past kneeling. I think it’s time for action.”
“We forget that Colin’s whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice,” Jay-Z added. “In that case, this is a success. This is the next phase.”