The NFL is hosting a workout for Colin Kaepernick on Saturday where 24 teams are expected to attend.
According to reports, Jay-Z urged NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to make it happen after he received tons of backlash for making a deal with the league that didn’t involve Colin Kaepernick at all.
According to my source, JAY-Z said that he took a reputational bullet for the commissioner when they had that press conference [with] his new role in the NFL,” Patrick said on The Dan Patrick Show, referencing the criticism JAY faced when the partnership was first announced. “Social agenda. Social injustice. He was gonna help with the entertainment for halftime. All of this. My source said that JAY-Z was pressuring the commissioner to do the right thing and have this workout for Colin Kaepernick.”
He continued, “JAY-Z said, ‘Hey, look, I don’t want to be viewed as a sellout here. Now those are my words, not his, but he was saying ‘reputational bullet.'” In a follow-up tweet, Patrick added that other sources have called the “JAY-Z narrative” another “distraction to take away from the opportunity facilitated by the NFL for Colin Kaepernick.”
A source close to the situation reiterated to Complex that “any JAY-Z narrative seems like a distraction to take away from the opportunity facilitated by the NFL.”
Shortly after the deal was announced, JAY addressed the controversy and answered a question about what will happen to Kaepernick now that he’s involved with the NFL. “I think that we forget that Colin’s whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice,” JAY said. “In that case, this is a success. This is the next thing because there’s two parts of the protest.”
Kaepernick’s attorney Mark Geragos was among those who criticized JAY. “This deal between JAY-Z and the NFL crossed the intellectual picket line,” Geragos said. “I can confirm to you that the deal was already done prior to any conversation that [Kaepernick] had with JAY-Z and he certainly didn’t have any conversations with the NFL.”
This very much sounds like Jay-Z is trying to save face after indeed taking a hit to his reputation — but if it gets Kaepernick back on the field, we’ll take it.