Under a new deal between the league and the rapper’s entertainment company, Roc Nation, the NFL will consult with the firm on major events like the Super Bowl. But it could also help elevate the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative, aimed at addressing criminal justice reform, police and community relations, as well as access to education in economically disadvantaged areas. Jay-Z described the partnership as “an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America.”
Why the alliance? The league faces a credibility problem with African Americans — who make up nearly 70 percent of its on-field workforce — especially following the NFL’s handling Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest.