Jay-Z's Roc Nation announced a huge deal this week with the NFL, a "long-term partnership" in which the rapper's company will be taking on the role of "official live music entertainment strategists," offering advice on Super Bowl performances and working on "the production and promotion of new music as well as culture- and cause-focused initiatives," per a release. But while the Guardian notes the NFL likely hoped this affiliation would "[assuage] much of the bad will some fans have nurtured" since its "Colin Kaepernick problem" began, that hasn't exactly been the universal reaction. Among those hurling criticism at Jay-Z: Kaepernick's girlfriend, Nessa Diab, who goes by her first name as a host on New York's HOT 97 radio station.
"How can Jay-Z and the NFL utter social justice in their partnership while keeping Colin unemployed because of his social justice work?" she wrote on Instagram Thursday, per Fox News, adding she found it "disgusting and disappointing" that Jay-Z "let [the NFL] use him." The rapper, real name Shawn Carter, defends his decision, saying his ties with the NFL can help bring awareness to the league's Inspire Change initiative. "Everybody knows I agree with [Kaepernick's underlying message]," Jay-Z says, per ESPN. "So what are we gonna do? You know what I'm saying? [Help] millions and millions of people, or we get stuck on Colin not having a job." The Carolina Panthers' Eric Reid, the first NFL player to kneel with Kaepernick during the national anthem, isn't buying it. "It looks like your goal was to make millions and millions of dollars by assisting the NFL in burying Colin’s career," he tweeted. (Read more Jay-Z stories.)