Jay Z made an apparent statement of solidarity with NFL National Anthem protesters this weekend by donning a jersey with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s name on it during his musical performance on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live.
The rapper and music streaming mogul took to the SNL stage alongside Damian Marley to perform his song “Bam,” off of his most recent album 4:44, while wearing Kaepernick’s now-recognizable number 7, though the shirt didn’t appear to be an official jersey, with the name on the back reading “Colin K.”
Jay also performed the 4:44 title track on the show, though he changed into a plain white T-shirt for his second appearance.
The rapper’s move comes as player protests during the National Anthem, first popularized by Kaepernick during last year’s NFL season, have polarized football fans and led to heated criticism from President Donald Trump.
A Yahoo Finance poll released this weekend found that as many as 80 percent of NFL fans said they planned to watch less of the games because of the protests.
This is not the first time Jay Z has shown support for Kaepernick from a concert stage.
Earlier this month, the rapper dedicated a song to the former player during a concert in his hometown of New York City.
Reports also surfaced this month that Jay had turned down an offer to appear in this year’s NFL Super Bowl halftime show. Some media outlets speculated that the rapper’s reported refusal to perform at the halftime show was a direct result of his support for the player protests.
Pop star Justin Timberlake is reportedly the front-runner to play this year’s Super Bowl halftime show.
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