Colin Kaepernick has responded to Jay-Z’s new partnership with the NFL.
On Sunday the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback took to Instagram to praise Eric Reid, Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson — all of whom have taken a knee at NFL games.
“My Brothers @e_reid35 @kstills @ithinkisee12 continue to fight for the people, even in the face of death threats,” he wrote. “They have never moved past the people and continue to put their beliefs into action. Stay strong Brothers!!!”
The post came in response to an Aug. 13 announcement by the NFL saying it was partnering with Roc Nation, the entertainment company founded by Jay-Z.
The league said in a statement: “Roc Nation will advise on the selection of artists for major NFL performances like the Super Bowl,” adding that the agreement will “amplify the league’s social justice efforts.”
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The announcement was followed by a press conference with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Jay-Z.
The rapper said the country has moved “past kneeling,” raising eyebrows with his comments. Then TMZ reported that Jay-Z will have a majority ownership stake in an NFL team.
At a preseason game Friday, Eric Reid accused Jay-Z of selling out.
“When has Jay-Z ever taken a knee? To come out and tell us that we’re ‘past kneeling.’ Yes, he’s done a lot of great work, a lot of great social justice work,” Reid said, “but for you get paid to go into a NFL conference and say we are past kneeling, again is asinine.”
Eric Reid on Jay Z kneeling statement: “When has Jay Z ever taken a knee? For you get paid to go into a NFL conference and say we are past kneeling is asinine.” pic.twitter.com/BO9RCLUHek
— Ashly Holder (@AshNoelleTV) August 17, 2019
Kaepernick started a movement in 2016, when he took a knee during the national anthem at games to protest police brutality and racial inequality in the U.S.
Other players followed suit, sparking a national debate on the issue. But critics, including President Donald Trump, have said kneeling during the anthem is disrespectful to the country.