On September 1, 2016, Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice and systematic oppression. This started a chain reaction that ignited a movement for justice on and off the field.
In recent news, on the heels of this anniversary, Jay Z, better known as Shawn Carter, announced his affiliation and assimilation with the NFL, making history by connecting and impacting NFL leadership beyond the entertainment and facing forward to social justice.
The question that lingers in the minds of most is that, has he entered the lions’ den to roar for social justice and spark a forward progressive change? Or is he sitting at the table as a coon to fatten his belly?
During the press conference of this announcement, Jay-Z was asked, “Would you kneel or stand?” He answered saying, “We are past kneeling. We’re done with that. What do we do next?” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stated we have come together, “to create a platform for our players to help drive change in the communities.”
The question I ask is where does Kaepernick fit into that? Shouldn’t Colin be apart of this dream NFL team movement of justice and change? After all, it’s because of his kneeling that Jay Z had a back and this platform to stand and speak from. It’s somewhat confusing to those of us who heard him brag in his song, “The NFL needs me. I don’t need them.”
There are mixed feelings and heighten emotions all around. NFL player Eric Reid stated that this collaboration is, “Kinda despicable.” Kaepernick clapped back in response on Twitter saying, “They have never moved past the people.”
My Brothers @E_Reid35@KSTiLLS@iThinkIsee12 continue to fight for the people, even in the face of death threats. They have never moved past the people and continue to put their beliefs into action. Stay strong Brothers!!! ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/OQClsZXD5V
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) August 18, 2019
Looking from a different angle, Jay-Z is taking action to make a global impact and awareness that affects us as Blacks and minorities.
In a New York times interview with Dean Baquet, Global Citizen wrote,” He can only do so much by himself. It’s when other people get involved, real change is possible.”
Maybe we can see and agree when he brings other people of color to sit at the table next to him and make these changes, especially the one who inspired the movement. The shame in it all is that Colin Kaepernick was punished and blackballed for his peaceful protest and others have risen to financial gain and greater fame.
Jay-Z claims this move is for the greater good of the people. Let’s allow him the time to show us. He is still for us. Until then, I stand and kneel with Kap.
Sources: Roc Nation YouTube, global citizen, Washington Examiner, Wikipedia, Washington examiner
Christy Angelette is part of the Generation X generation. She is a mother of three amazing sons and is a southern Queen born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She is working on a novel that will highlight mental illness and abuse in multiple forms, as well as civil rights being broken on a mental health level.