NFL Hires Jay-Z To Consult On Live Music & Social Justice

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The NFL is poised to announce a sweeping business partnership with Jay-Z's Roc Nation, sources tell Front Office Sports.

The move marks a turn for Jay, who criticized the N.F.L.in the past and admitted in his song with Beyonce "Apesh-" that he had turned down offers to perform during the Super Bowl, telling the league during the song, "You need me, I don't need you/ Every night we in the end zone, tell the NFL we in stadiums too".

The NFL has faced controversy in recent years over how it handles players protesting racial and social justice, most notably with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the national anthem.

Roc Nation's sports unit is already home to New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. This practice infuriated a portion of the NFL's fan base - including President Donald Trump, who urged the league's owners not to employ players who protested during the anthem - and when Kaepernick became a free agent in 2017, he soon discovered no teams would sign him.

UPDATE: The New York Times has confirmed the partnership between Roc Nation and the NFL. Jay-Z told the Times, "The NFL has a great big platform, and it has to be all-inclusive".

Jay-Z and Roc Nation will contribute to the NFL's Inspire Change program, a social activism campaign that involves players around the league. "They were willing to do some things, to make some changes, that we can do some good".

The Post is quick to note, however, that both the rapper and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell were adamant that this doesn't mean JAY-Z will be heading up the highly anticipated event.

"I think we have autonomy", said Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter. Partnering with Jay-Z's firm would help give the National Football League more credibility while tapping the knowledge of a wide-ranging entertainment company with its finger on the pulse of the younger, urban audience.

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