It’s a beautiful thing for Jay-Z’s Roc Nation to partner with the NFL – Stephen A. | First Take
Stephen A. Smith explains the positives outcomes of what a partnership between Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and the NFL will bring to the league.
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“We don’t want people to come in and necessarily agree with us; we want people to come in and tell us what we can do better,” Goodell said in an interview Monday at his Midtown office. “I think that’s a core element of our relationship between the two organizations, and with Jay and I personally.”
Kaepernick’s protests — which he said were against racial injustice and police brutality — prompted dozens of other players to kneel. Their actions intensified a national debate over race and free speech, drawing pointed opinions not only from fans and sports commentators, but also former President Barack Obama and even Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Since then, athletes in other sports have followed Kaepernick’s lead in protesting during the anthem, including a fencer and a hammer thrower at the recently completed Pan American Games.
The N.F.L. protests sparked harsh comments from President Trump, beginning in 2017, when he urged team owners to fire Kaepernick and other protesters. The rebuke shook players and owners, but received support from Trump enthusiasts. Kaepernick was not on an N.F.L. roster at the time, but others had taken up his cause.