Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has yet to comment publicly on the wide-ranging deal struck by the NFL and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, or on comments from Jay-Z that try to turn the page on Kaepernick’s protest-induced unemployment. But former teammate Eric Reid has spoken out on these issues, and Kaepernick approves.
“You never turned your back on me or the people, even when the nfl tried to silence your voice & the movement,” Kaepernick said in a tweet directed to Reid. “You’ve never flinched or wavered. I love you Brother! Let’s get it!”
Reid has pointed out the flaw in Jay-Z’s suggestion that he can either help “millions and millions of people, or . . . get stuck on Colin not having a job.” As Reid observes, it’s not an either/or proposition; millions can be helped and the wrong done to Kaepernick can be undone.
Jay-Z also said, “I think we’ve moved past kneeling.” Reid had a pointed reply to that.
In responses, Reid retweeted thisL “Jay-Z NEVER took a knee. The fact that he has the audacity to to say that, ‘I think that we’ve moved past kneeling,’ is ridiculous. He sacrificed NOTHING. In truth, he is actually capitalizing off of Kaepernick’s loss.”
The context makes it clear that Kaepernick is expressing appreciation for Reid’s public opposition to the NFL/Jay-Z deal. And if there was any doubt, Jemele Hill of The Atlantic reports that Jay-Z and Kaepernick spoke about the looming deal on Monday, and that “[i]t was not a good conversation.”
How could it have been a good conversation? Jay-Z is trying to separate the specific injustice done to Kaepernick from the broader injustice about which Kaepernick was protesting, ignoring the sacrifice Kaepernick made — the sacrifice he shouldn’t have had to make — in the name of whatever the broader goals and objectives are for Jay-Z.
I’m not doing this deal until Colin Kaepernick is on an NFL roster. That’s all Jay-Z had to say.
He’ll now end up having to say plenty more than he likely expected to have to say about a deal that was soft-launched on Tuesday through the selective release of quotes to specific media outlets and formally announced on Wednesday in a setting that looked kind of like an Old Navy commercial.
The official announcement came on the three-year anniversary of the first time Kaepernick protested during the anthem. That tone-deaf bit of timing fits well with the broader lack of #selfawareness regarding the disconnect between an arrangement that promotes the movement while ignoring the man who sparked it.