Jay-Z‘s earned quite the reputation for being a shrewd businessman over the years, but the ‘Big Pimpin’ performer’s latest string of business moves are stirring a big pot of controversy.
The 49-year-old – once celebrated for turning down an invite to perform at the NFL’s ‘Super Bowl’ due to the league’s controversial stance on the treatment of their players of color (namely Colin Kaepernick) – set headlines into a spin when it was announced his imprint, Roc Nation, would now be co-producing the affair (click here to read more).
As the polarizing move continued to dominate headlines, Jay justified the collaborative effort by stating:
“I think we’ve moved past kneeling and I think it’s time to go into actionable items.”
He then added: “No, I don’t want people to stop protesting at all. Kneeling — I know we’re stuck on it because it’s a real thing — but kneeling is a form of protest. I support protest across the board. We need to bring light to the issue. I think everyone knows what the issue is — we’re done with that,” he added. “But now that we all know what’s going on, what are we going to do? How are we going to stop it? Because the kneeling was not about a job, it was about injustice.”
The move wasn’t exactly hailed a victory. Many – including Panthers’ safety Eric Reid – negatively sounded off on the announcement.
“Jay-Z claimed to be a supporter of Colin, wore his jersey, told people not to perform at the Super Bowl because of the treatment the NFL did to Colin,” said Reid. “And now he’s going to be a part owner … It’s kind of despicable.”
A number of Twitter users echoed Reid’s sentiment:
Some defended Hov, however, and suggested the ownership move could be a way to get Colin Kaepernick back in the league via a contract he rightfully deserves.