NFL partners with Jay-Z company Roc Nation to advise on music, social activism
Roc Nation, the entertainment management company founded by rapper, businessman and social activist Shawn Carter – known as Jay-Z – has partnered with the NFL in an advisory role to help select music for the league’s flagship events, such as the Super Bowl, according to multiple reports.
It is expected that Roc Nation will help boost the NFL's "Inspire Change" program, an initiative that partners with players to fight social injustice, according to ESPN.
"With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country," Jay-Z told ESPN. "Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas – instead, we unify them. This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America."
The partnership comes as the league continues to navigate its involvement in various causes for social activism, taken on by players since former quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 protested social injustice by kneeling during the national anthem before games.
Kaepernick has been out of the NFL since the end of the 2016 season, and recently settled a grievance he filed against the NFL, alleging that the league’s ownership denied him employment because of his outspoken and public calls for social reform. Kaepernick’s former teammate, current Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, also settled his own grievance that alleged the same claim.
According to ESPN, the partnership will call on Roc Nation to take the lead on the creation of and distribution of music content for the NFL’s marketing purposes, including the production and promotion of live concerts at events. ESPN reported that the partnership does not call for Jay-Z to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show.
"Roc Nation is one of the most globally influential and impactful organizations in entertainment," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN. "The NFL and Roc Nation share a vision of inspiring meaningful social change across our country."
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