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Colin Kaepernick's Girlfriend Nessa Diab: Jay-Z Let NFL 'Use Him' to 'Bury' QB

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2019

Nessa, left, and Colin Kaepernick attend The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the
Charles Sykes/Associated Press

Nessa Diab, who is Colin Kaepernick's girlfriend, did not appreciate Jay-Z and Roc Nation partnering with the NFL

She criticized the rap mogul on her Instagram page for working with the same people who she said decided to "bury" Kaepernick after he knelt during the national anthem as a way of protesting racial injustice and police brutality:

"We will never turn our backs on @kaepernick7 because your idols decided to work with the same organization that is actively keeping Colin unemployed all because he peacefully protested against social injustice in black and brown communities, specifically police brutality. So really, how can Jay-Z and the NFL utter social justice in their partnership while keeping Colin unemployed because of his social justice work?

"It's typical for the NFL to buy different PR looks to cover up their dirt-that's nothing new. But what is disgusting and disappointing is Jay-Z let them use him. Whether Jay-Z knew it or not (I don't doubt his intelligence-so I would think he knew) he helped the NFL bury who he said is an iconic figure, Colin Kaepernick.

"Don't tell me there's a ‘master plan and wait for it' because the ONLY reason anything would ever change is because THE PEOPLE are loud and clear and won't let the league buy their loyalty with their disingenuous moves. The people are letting the league and anyone who works with them know that they aren't buying the bs.

"Thank you all so much for showing Colin so much support and love. I know for myself, I can't thank y'all enough for loving my family."

Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported the partnership between the NFL and Jay-Z's Roc Nation agency was one for "entertainment and social justice" and would also make Roc Nation a co-producer of the Super Bowl halftime show.

Jay-Z issued a statement on the developments through the agency's Twitter account:

Roc Nation @RocNation

https://t.co/yI8LujqtBd

The rap mogul and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell held a joint press conference to discuss the partnership on Wednesday, and Jay-Z addressed working with the league even though Kaepernick doesn't have a job as a professional quarterback (h/t Jason Reid of ESPN's The Undefeated):

"We forget that Colin's whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice. In that case, this is a success. This is the next phase. There [are] two parts of protesting. You go outside and you protest, and then the company or the individual says, 'I hear you. What do we do next?

"For me it's like action, [an] actionable item, what are we gonna do with it? Everyone heard, we hear what you're saying, and everybody knows I agree with what you're saying [in Kaepernick's underlying message]. 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."

TMZ Sports cited a source from Roc Nation who said Jay-Z reached out to Kaepernick and provided a "heads up" about the partnership, although they talked after the deal was already signed.

However, Kaepernick's attorney, Mark Geragos, said the two did not talk prior to the partnership, and Diab echoed as much on her Twitter page:

NESSA @nessnitty

THIS is a lie. COLIN never spoke to Jay-Z and NFL ahead of that deal being done. They NEVER included him in any discussion 👉🏽 https://t.co/TWmoXS4JVJ https://t.co/2bjSIEtnjQ

Carolina Panthers defensive back Eric Reid, who was teammates with Kaepernick on the San Francisco 49ers, was also critical of Jay-Z and the partnership with the NFL:

Eric Reid @E_Reid35

These aren’t mutually exclusive. They can both happen at the same time! It looks like your goal was to make millions and millions of dollars by assisting the NFL in burying Colin’s career. https://t.co/LFBZpbj2tw

Eric Reid @E_Reid35

about people of color by forming numerous disingenuous partnerships to address social injustice while collectively blackballing Colin, the person who brought oppression and social injustice to the forefront of the NFL platform.

Eric Reid @E_Reid35

Interesting timing on the partnership with Jay-Z on the heels of Stephen Ross’ fundraiser for Donald Trump and the backlash his other companies are getting because of it. #PayAttentionFolks

Eric Reid @E_Reid35

Jay-Z doesn’t need the NFL’s help 2 address social injustices. It was a money move 4 him & his music business. The NFL gets 2 hide behind his black face 2 try to cover up blackballing Colin. #NeoColonialism https://t.co/tO49a1JC2c

Kaepernick thanked Reid and his supporters in the wake of the news:

Colin Kaepernick @Kaepernick7

You never turned your back on me or the people, even when the nfl tried to silence your voice & the movement. You’ve never flinched or wavered. I love you Brother! Let’s get it! @E_Reid35 And to the people - I see you, I hear you and I love you! Thank you for having my back!!!✊🏾 https://t.co/kBJ1SCBYIq

Kaepernick played for the 49ers from 2011 through 2016 and helped lead them to the Super Bowl and the NFC Championship Game in back-to-back years. However, he has remained unsigned by all 32 NFL teams since he opted out of his contract in March 2017.

He and Reid sued the league for collusion and eventually reached a confidential settlement.