The NFL is partnering with Jay-Z and Roc Nation in a deal that will put the agency in charge of many of the league’s entertainment and social justice initiatives.
According to reports, Roc Nation will be co-producer of the Super Bowl halftime show, but the deal does not contain a provision for the rapper to perform the show. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in an interview he hopes Jay-Z will perform sometime in the next several years but, “I think we’ll all know if that time comes.”
Via the partnership, Roc Nation will select entertainers to perform during NFL events throughout the season. Also, Hov said he believes the agency will have freedom in its choices and maintain “autonomy.”
The social justice portion will, reportedly, coincide with the NFL’s existing “Inspire Change” program.
“With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country,” Jay-Z stated. “Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas — instead, we unify them. This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America.”
Jay-Z reportedly turned down the offer to perform at Super Bowl LI in 2018. At a concert around the time, Jay-Z dedicated a song to free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been effectively banished from the league after he decided to protest during the national anthem before games in order to raise awareness of social injustice in America. Jay-Z been unequivocally vocal in support of Kaepernick, who has remained unsigned since the end of the 2016 NFL season.
In January, Jay-Z previously partnered with rapper Meek Mill and the owners of the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and New England Patriots to launch The Reform Alliance, an organization addressing criminal justice reform.