Jay-Z dedicated "The Story of O.J." to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during his performance Friday at the Meadows Music and Arts Festival in New York City.
ESPN.com noted the famed rapper shouted out Kaepernick before singing the song—which is about "blackness and managing money" and includes a reference to former NFL running back O.J. Simpson—at Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, in Queens.
"I want to dedicate this song to Colin Kaepernick tonight," Jay-Z said.
Kaepernick has remained a free agent since he opted out of his contract with the Niners in March. Many of his fellow players, including outspoken Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, have said he's being "blackballed" for his protest during national anthems last season.
The 29-year-old Milwaukee native drew widespread attention for this decision to kneel, though he was later joined by athletes from across the sports spectrum. He explained his stance to Steve Wyche of NFL.com in August 2016.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick said. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell downplayed the idea teams weren't treating the quarterback fairly during an appearance at New York Jets training camp in July.
"Those are independent decisions that clubs make," he told reporters. "Clubs are going to do what they think is in the best interest of their franchise and what it is that they can do to win."
Kaepernick accounted for 18 touchdowns and seven turnovers across 12 appearances, including 11 starts, with the 49ers last season. Kyle Wagner of FiveThirtyEight wrote last month "it's obvious Kaepernick is being frozen out for his political opinions, but it's less apparent how extraordinary it is that a player like him can't find a team."
Meanwhile, the QB has continued with his $1 million pledge, which is aimed toward supporting "organizations working in oppressed communities."