December 5, 2023

Jay-Z partnering aka working WITH (not for) the NFL got some of y’all worried.

Why, though?

Surely it isn’t because of some boycott, is it? How many boycotts are we fake boycotting now? I can’t keep up. Because while most of us are outwardly boycotting the NFL in order to satisfy the mass woke populist, we simultaneously sneak to our fantasy drafts, praying to the NFL gods that Antonio Brown’s frozen foot thaws before the start of the regular season. Or just like how most of us “should” boycott Starbucks , Chick-fil-a, Popeye’s (Those commercials racist, fuck y’all) or Waffle House, y’all (That’s me, I’m “y’all”) sneak into one of their many drunk infested establishments right off the Interstate to order a Chicken Melt with a side of hash browns, covered, smothered, chucked and capped.

And while we cap (that’s what the young people who immediately know the difference between Lil Baby and DaBaby say) for glory, likes, re-posts and comment threads affirming our fake, non-factual cynicism toward our allies on social media, maybe, just maybe we should consider 1.) giving Jay-Z the benefit the doubt; and 2.) how much we really don’t give a fuck.

Our frustration with the NFL is real and it’s tangible. The NFL has displayed time and time again it’s lack of expertise, empathy, or even sympathy in the realm of race, women’s rights, civil rights and domestic violence, with black women, once again, being caught dead at the intersection of these toxic issues. So honestly, I could give two shits about the NFL because the NFL clearly doesn’t give two shits about me. However, I do give two shits about how the NFL treats their players, more specifically black players, who make up the vast majority of NFL rosters (With Colin Kaepernick actively still trying to be one of many black players on an NFL roster). I give a shit or two about these black player’s mental and physical health after the NFL aka Not For Long machine chews them up faster than Popeye’s Bonafide $5 Box and spits them out faster than a gentrified Soul Food restaurant recommended by white people. I also give a shit or two (maybe even three shits) about their financial successes and literacy, especially once their heavily taxed game checks inevitably stop being deposited into their bank accounts.

So maybe, just maybe Jay-Z is trying to expand his Roc Nation sports agency, a black ran sports agency who represent black athletes, with one of their goals being to yes, make money, but to also stress the importance of financial literacy to the same black athletes we shit on when they go broke; the SAME black athletes who make up over 70% of the same NFL we’re “mad” at. Jay-Z has managed to garner an incredible amount of financial success, and while doing so, has proven to be a valuable asset in the black community, both as trendsetter and as an advocate, preaching the importance of black financial independence and empowerment. So maybe, just maybe Jay-Z has earned the benefit the doubt through countless charitable contributions, as well as black activism, both from behind the scenes and in front of the cameras. However, in our rush to target seemingly low-hanging fruit, we don’t consider precedent. We don’t consider the work that has been done. We also don’t consider that we honestly don’t give a fuck.

So, while we search the vastness of social media, hoping to be the first to trigger _____ outrage, I implore us to ask ourselves whether Jay Z has earned the benefit of the doubt, and, more importantly..

whether we really give a damn?

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