After the recent announcement that Jay-Z has partnered with the NFL to explore the league’s entertainment options and oversee its social justice endeavours, in addition to Roc Nation co-producing next year’s Super Bowl, the rap mogul said that he spoke with Colin Kaepernick ahead of signing on.
According to Jay-Z, who publicly came out in support of Kaepernick when the former San Francisco 49ers quartberback stirred up controversy by taking a knee during the U.S. national anthem to protest police, his deal with the NFL doesn’t change his feelings about Kaepernick and his protest.
However, that hasn’t prevented him from being hit with widespread backlash, which Bill Maher brought up on Friday’s episode of “Real Time” when he welcomed guest Killer Mike.
“The media is on Jay-Z like Beyonce’s sister in an elevator,” quipped Maher, referencing the infamous video of Solange Knowles beating on her brother-in-law while they rode in an elevator.
Addressing the backlash, Killer Mike defended Jay-Z, declaring that the deal represents a triumph for the African-American community.
“Jay-Z is one of us that made it out the streets, made it in the rooms, and he did what he could when he should,” the Run the Jewels rapper told Maher.
“When the Grammys did not show the hip-hop portion, Jay-Z boycotted,” he continued, adding that Jay-Z’s NFL deal “gives us a seat at the table… It doesn’t destroy what Kap knelt for.”
Another upside, he joked, would be if Jay-Z were to someday own his own NFL team. “If Jay becomes a team owner, Kap gets a try out,” he said.