Colin Kaepernick is still without a job in the NFL. There were a few teams in need of quarterback help following injuries to Ben Roethlisberger, Patrick Mahomes, and Cam Newton. While some football experts believed a team may give Kaepernick a look, but nothing came of it.
Three preseasons ago, the former San Francisco 49ers signal-caller decided to take a public stand against police brutality. Kaepernick opted to take a knee during 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.
“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.”
Shaun King Talks Jay-Z’s Deal With NFL & Kaepernick Impact
On August 13, 2019, the NFL announced that it would be entering a partnership with Roc Nation, which is founded by hip hop artist and businessman Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. The partnership is to help increase the NFL’s social justice efforts.
“With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country,” Carter said in a press release. “Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas; instead, we unify them. This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America.”
Following this news, civil rights activist Shaun King made it known that he believed Jay-Z played Kaepernick by partnering with the NFL.
King was a guest on the podcast All The Smoke and was asked to give his opinion on Jay-Z partnering with the NFL despite Colin Kaepernick being banned from the league.
“First off, I love Jay-Z,” said King.
“I love him, and just like you, I have admired him for a very long time. I have also been behind closed doors and seem him support families and causes that no one never knew about. He raps about generosity he does in private, and I have seen that, and I think in any other circumstance had Colin Kaepernick, who is being currently banned from the league If I saw Jay-Z. He is going to be some type of partner here, and if the NFL to Colin Kaepernick never happened, I would have been like, oh yeah,” said King.
“But we live in real life Colin Kaepernick is currently and actively banned from this league. And Colin has never spoken out about Jay-Z, and that is not his way, but I know many of us, who are close to Colin felt like. I felt Jay-Z played Colin directly,” King said.
“I’m really into action — I’m into real work,” said Jay-Z. “I’m not into how it looks. How it looks only lasts for a couple months until we start doing the work. I’ve been in this position many times. Take Tidal as a great example from five years ago. Now, people look at it today, people have a different outlook on it. But at the time, people didn’t see what was going on. So, I’ve been in this position many times. I just show up and do the work, I’m not interested in how things look on the outside. If protesting on the field is the most effective way, then protest on the field. But, if you have a vehicle that you can inspire change, and you can speak to the masses and educate at the same time.”
Eric Reid & Eric Dickerson Agree With King About Jay-Z
After the agreement between the NFL and Roc Nation was announced back in August, Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid ripped Jay-Z for his actions before the partnership with the league was in place, as NFL analyst Joe Person revealed.
“Jay-Z claimed to be a supporter of Colin — wore his jersey, told people not to perform at the Super Bowl because of the treatment that the NFL did to Colin,” Reid said. “And now he’s going to be a part-owner — it’s kind of despicable,” said Reid.
Earlier this year, Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson was a guest on The Undisputed and called Jay-Z a sellout.
“First off, I am always a hundred percent pro-player. Jay-Z has never kneeled one time. Jay-Z has never played football. I mean he may have played high school football or maybe in college I don’t know. But, it is different when you play a sport that you love so much, and it put all on the line like Kaep has,” said Dickerson.
“And I said it in the beginning if he goes here, he may never play again, and it is right there – he may never play again. To me, I think we all love Jay-Z music, he has a beautiful wife, Beyonce, but in a sense, he is selling out,” Dickerson said.
Colin Kaepernick and Shaun King’s Relationship
What many are unaware of is the friendship between Colin Kaepernick and American writer, civil rights activist Shaun King had. Before the two became close, King was a fan of Kaepernick.
“Before I knew him personally, I was a fan,” said Shaun King. “I watched and admired and watch them [San Francisco 49ers] go to the Superbowl [XLVII] they were literally a play away, a few yards away from winning the Superbowl,” King said on the All the Smoke Podcast.
“In 2015-2016, he reached out to me when they were several issues with police brutality. Twitter was smaller back then, and this was before Trump’s election even, and we would talk through Twitter DM. He would ask me to explain a certain case of police brutality or asked what I thought. But he wasn’t really tweeting about it, and this was before he ever took a knee and before people understood what was going on in his head.”
Colin Kaepernick would sustain an injury, which would give him a lot of time to think, and according to King, during the recovery period, Kaepernick was able to think through the issues. By the time the preseason game rolled around, the national anthem was playing and Kaepernick heard it and decided not to stand for it; instead, he took a knee. The following week Kaepernick chose not to stand again, and it started to catch on.
Kaepernick would find himself on the outside looking in when it came to his role with the 49ers, as he was benched for Blaine Gabbert in 2016. The team then opted to release him the following season.