JAY-Z is making another power play.
Following his music and social justice partnership with the NFL, TMZ Sports reports that the Roc Nation mogul is taking his relationship with the league to the next level by becoming part owner of an NFL team.
Sources connected to JAY claim that he is going to have a “significant ownership interest” in an NFL team “in the near future.” It’s unclear what team he will have a stake in, but he reportedly wants to become a part owner “because he’s a huge fan, already has a sports business, and wants to continue to be a change agent for the NFL.”
JAY-Z’s Roc Nation Sports division currently manages NFL players including Saquon Barkley, Todd Gurley, and Dez Bryant, which may be a conflict of interest. However, sources say “JAY is not an NFL agent and does not take part in the operations of the NFL players in Roc Nation.”
Earlier this week, JAY-Z and the NFL announced a longterm partnership. Roc Nation will serve as the NFL’s “live music entertainment strategist,” consulting on entertainment, including the Super Bowl halftime show, and contributing to the league’s social-justice program, Inspire Change.
“The NFL has a great big platform, and it has to be all-inclusive,” said JAY-Z, who has been an outspoken critic of the league in the past. “They were willing to do some things, to make some changes, that we can do some good.”
The deal was met with controversy from many who criticized his decision to partner with the NFL after their treatment of Colin Kaepernick, who was blackballed after kneeling during the national anthem three years ago.
— NESSA (@nessnitty) August 14, 2019
Kaepernick’s girlfriend, Nessa Diab, said Kaepernick didn’t speak with JAY-Z prior to brokering the NFL partnership. JAY spoke to Kaepernick on Monday after the deal had been signed. A source close to the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback told The Atlantic‘s Jemele Hill, “It was not a good conversation.”
JAY-Z, who rapped about turning down the Super Bowl on The Carters’ hit “APESHIT,” was also among those who advised Travis Scott not to perform at this year’s halftime show. During a press conference this week, the Roc Nation founder said that he told Scott he shouldn’t perform because he would be playing “second fiddle” to Maroon 5 and that it had nothing to do with Kaepernick.