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The media personality took to Hot 97 on Wednesday to criticize Roc Nation and the NFL's newly inked partnership, which aims to improve the league's live music entertainment strategies as well as its social justice initiatives. Upon the deal's announcement, many wondered if Nessa's boyfriend, activist/free agent Colin Kaepernick, would be involved in any capacity.
Nessa, and others who are close to Kaepernick, confirmed he was not involved with the initiative, nor did he get a heads up from JAY-Z. This came as somewhat of a shock to fans, as Hov had been a vocal supporter of Kaepernick during his legal battle with the NFL. Back in 2017, the former 49er filed a collusion grievance against the league, claiming he was blackballed over his on-field protests against police brutality. JAY even rocked Kaepernick's jersey during a 2017 appearance on Saturday Night Live.
During a press conference Wednesday, JAY and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell claimed they spoke to Kaepernick about the initiative; however, JAY did not commit to including athlete down the road.
"I'm not his boss. I can't just bring him into something. That's for him to say," JAY told reporters, when asked if Kaepernick would be involved. "[...] We all do different things. We all work differently for the same results. I don't knock what he's doing, and hopefully he doesn't knock what I'm doing."
Nessa reiterated her claims that the Roc Nation x NFL deal was a PR stunt that intended to clean up the mess created by the Kaepernick controversy. She told listeners that she was still a fan of JAY, but was frustrated that he was working with an organization that continued to deny Kaepernick opportunities.
Here are some key quotes from Wednesday's episode, provided by @CRS_One:
Nessa also acknowledged JAY's contributions to the culture, but insisted he needed to be held accountable.
The comments arrived on the three-year anniversary of Kaepernick's first #TaketheKnee protest, in which he kneeled during the pre-game singing of the national anthem. Though he hasn't been in the league since the end of the 2016 season, Kaepernick vowed his commitment to social justice and "our fight for liberation."
Shortly after Kaepernick shared the video, J. Cole voiced his support on Twitter. "Thank you @Kaepernick7 we ain't forgot." he wrote. "@nfl let the man work."