Social Justice Partnership Between NFL, Jay-Z Increases Likelihood of Political Super Bowl Halftime Shows

Jay-Z
Getty Images/Harry How

The NFL has announced that it has turned over a large portion of the decision making process for the Super Bowl halftime show, as well as other music and entertainment decisions, to social justice activist and rapper Jay-Z and his Roc Nation entertainment company.

Given the activist politics of Jay-Z and his wife, Beyonce, league entertainment choices will likely be heavily driven by “woke” motivations.

On Tuesday, the NFL announced that it was partnering with Roc Nation for the upcoming Super Bowl halftime show. But subsequent reports have noted that Jay-Z’s entertainment company will have far more responsibilities than just programming the 2020 Super Bowl.

According to ESPN, the league is handing over most of its entertainment decisions to Jay-Z, including, making him the co-producer of the Super Bowl.
The rapper celebrated the move:

“With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country,” the rapper said in a statement. “Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas — instead, we unify them. This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also touted the partnership:

“Roc Nation is one of the most globally influential and impactful organizations in entertainment,” Goodell said on Wednesday. “The NFL and Roc Nation share a vision of inspiring meaningful social change across our country. We are thrilled to partner with Roc Nation and look forward to making a difference in our communities together.”

The deal hands Jay-Z responsibility for “creation and distribution of music content across multiple music and streaming services, as well as consult and collaborate on the production, promotion, and marketing of live music events,” ESPN wrote.

NFL fans may have already gotten a small taste of what Jay-Z plans for the future with the Super Bowl show put on in 2016 by his wife Beyonce when she caused controversy by performing an anti-cop song. The attack on police was so blatant that the New York Police Department demanded an apology.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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