As football’s big night sets in, the Roc Nation chief details the company’s social justice initiatives.
In the deal, Roc Nation assisted in the establishment of the league’s Inspire Change campaign, and in return, was offered exclusive slots for its artists at a handful of the league’s music spectacles, including, you guessed it, the Super Bowl halftime show, where Jennifer Lopez and Shakira (both Roc Nation clients) will headline. Despite its ambitions, the partnership has been criticized for engaging with the NFL while Colin Kaepernick remained effectively blacklisted by the league for taking a knee during the National Anthem in 2016.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, the Roc Nation founder finally addressed the deal’s critics, at least in part. Acknowledging the perceived deception of Kaepernick, who he’d initially rallied behind, Hov told The Times, “No one is saying he hasn’t been done wrong. He was done wrong. I would understand if it was three months ago. But it was three years ago and someone needs to say, ‘What do we do now — because people are still dying?’”
After outlining the company’s deal with the league and the various Roc Nation execs involved in building out its social justice and financial management arms, Hov notes how the partnership, in his mind, works to both his and Kaepernick’s goals. “We are two adult men who disagree on the tactic but are marching for the same cause.”