During a recent performance, Hip Hop heavyweight and business mogul, JAY-Z dedicated one of his new songs, “The Live of O.J.” to Colin Kaepernick. While it’s not uncommon for musicians and athletes to be friends, this specific shout out held much relevancy to it due to the song’s content and Kaepernick’s highly publicized position.
When JAY-Z performed at a concert Friday night in NYC, he made it clear that he supports the quarterback and lead with a pointed message regarding the current situation with zero teams in the NFL choosing to hire the talented player. “I want to dedicate this song to anyone that was held back and you overcame whatever it was,” Jay also added.
Many people believe the league is not signing Kaepernick because of his silent National Anthem protest. Many celebrities and athletes have spoken out in support of Kaepernick, saying that his protest doesn’t prevent him from being a great football player and contributing to his team’s potential success on the field.
What some don’t realize is that protest is supposed to be visible in order to enact any type of change. His visibility allows him to make a statement supporting a cause and highlighting an issue that he feels very strongly about.
Another thing that those who support Kaepernick bring up is that he’s not actually doing anything that is unlawful. In fact, his right to protest is legally protected.
The overt juxtaposition in this situation is that there are NFL players who have had legal issues, ranging from abuse, drug use, sexual assault, and domestic violence, who have been able to continue playing in the league.
JAY-Z’s song “The Life Of O.J.” deals with the complexities of race, fame and public opinion. In the song, JAY talks about the infamous O.J. Simpson and his perception of being black.
One of the most telling lines in the song is when Jay is mimicking what Simpson said in an interview when asked about his race. “I’m not black, I’m O.J.” was his reply.
The idea that fame and affluence suddenly mean one will not be judged unfairly based on their race simply isn’t true.