Eric Reid Discusses Jay-Z, NFL Partnership; 'Blackballing' of Colin Kaepernick

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 14, 2019

FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2018, file photo, former NFL football quarterback Colin Kaepernick smikes on stage during W.E.B. Du Bois Medal ceremonies at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass. Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid have reached settlements on their collusion lawsuits against the NFL, the league said Friday, Feb. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported that Jay-Z and the NFL are "forming a partnership...in a deal that allows him to help manage entertainment ventures tied to league events and is closely connected to the league's community activism efforts."

On Tuesday, Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid tweeted that ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is not part of the agreement. He then offered commentary on the deal:

Kaepernick sat and kneeled during the national anthem to protest social injustice and oppression of people of color in the 2016 NFL season. Reid and others soon joined him.

The signal-caller has not gotten a job in the league since.

As Maske noted, "the community activism portion of the partnership will be tied to the NFL's 'Inspire Change' program with its players."

The NFL Operations website describes the initiative in part:

"Working with the Players Coalition, an independent 501(c)(3) entity, NFL teams and the league continue to support programs and initiatives that reduce barriers to opportunity. Inspire Change focuses on three priority areas: Education and economic advancement, police and community relations, criminal justice reform."

Reid broke with the Players Coalition, a group of NFL players that describes itself as one that "exists to end social injustices and racial inequality so future generations have opportunity to thrive without barriers."

As for the deal, Jay-Z spoke with Maske and said he has concerns about partnering with the league while the 31-year-old quarterback is out of football work. However, he explained why he chose to make the agreement.

"I think that when you're discussing these sort of issues, everything is going to be tough. You can either go home, you can pack your bag and sit in the house, or you can choose to take it head-on. And that's pretty much how we operate at Roc Nation. We seek to identify things that we want to be a part of and things that we believe that we can add value to, and we step in and we come with these ideas. And to their credit, the NFL agreed to these ideas.

"All these ideas come from this building except for 'Inspire Change,' which existed but we built it out. So we know it'll be difficult. But we think at the end of the day, a lot of people will benefit from the NFL's platform and the things that we brought to the table. We think it could help a lot of people."

Reid is skeptical about the NFL's motives for the deal, though, in light of Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross receiving negative press for his support of President Donald Trump through a high-end fundraiser:

Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills called out Ross for his support:

He also seemingly agreed with Reid's take regarding the NFL's motives through this re-tweet:

As for the NFL, commissioner Roger Goodell said the following, per NFL.com:

"Roc Nation is one of the most globally influential and impactful organizations in entertainment. The NFL and Roc Nation share a vision of inspiring meaningful social change across our country. We are thrilled to partner with Roc Nation and look forward to making a difference in our communities together."

The NFL's 100th season begins on Sept. 5 when the Green Bay Packers visit the Chicago Bears.

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