Last month, the NFL and Jay-Z‘s entertainment and sports representation company, Roc Nation, announced that they were teaming up for events and social activism.
The announcement was made on the third anniversary of Colin Kaepernick’s first pregame protest.
For those keeping score at home: Three NFL pre-seasons ago, Kaepernick refused to stand during the playing of the national anthem.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL network’s Steve Wyche during the NFL’s preseason three years ago.
“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Kaepernick would later kneel instead of deciding to not participate during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games.
According to an article written by RESPECT Magazine’s Eric Salvary previously, quarterback coach and athlete performance specialist Madei Williams suggested that there were seven NFL teams that could make sense as a fit for Kaepernick.
The list of teams according to Salvary and Williams included at the time the Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars.
As for Jay-Z’s business dealings with the NFL – he and Roc Nation’s lateral movements with the league are said to include consulting on who the league booked for live music performances, including the Super Bowl, as well as the social justice initiative ‘Inspire Change.’
So what’s next?
Insert Reverend Dr. DeForest “Buster” Soaries.
A senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey, Soaries has had his hand in the music and entertainment business as a music producer and runs his DFree financial literacy program.
“We forget that Colin’s whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice,” Dr. Soaries said on a recent Instagram TV post.
“In that case, this is a success. This is the next thing, because there are two parts to the protest — you go out and protest, and the company and individual says, ‘I hear you. What do we do next?’”
Dr. Soaries served as Secretary of State of New Jersey under then-Governor Christine Todd Whitman. In that position, he endorsed further funding for the arts and served as an unofficial general advisor to the governor.
“So Jay-Z said, ‘Who in here knows why they took a knee? Why Kaepernick took a knee?’ and everybody said to protest police brutality, to bring attention to police brutality,” recounted Soaries.
“He said: ‘See, the fact that you know about the problem of police brutality now means that taking a knee was successful. Now we’ve gotta go and fix the police brutality problem. You don’t keep taking a knee.'”
Soaries believes that this could become a change agent. “And so Jay-Z said: ‘I have moved on because I am satisfied that people know there is injustice perpetrated by the police,”‘ he said.
“And I agree with Jay-Z. The goal is not protest, the goal is progress.”