“Jay-Z Isn’t a Sellout, He’s a Capitalist.”


Dave Zirin? He’s perhaps the only sportswriter who truly matters. We are reminded of the importance of following the money.

Jay-Z Isn’t a Sellout, He’s a Capitalist, by Dave Zirin (The Nation)

He’s a billionaire who wants to be an NFL team owner, and erasing Colin Kaepernick is the price of admission.

 … The truth is actually much more banal. None of this is about social justice. It’s not about, as Shawn Carter put it, “helping millions and millions of people.” This partnership is happening because Shawn Carter is a billionaire who wants to be an NFL owner, and erasing Colin Kaepernick is the price of admission. Now Shawn Carter gets to multiply his fortune, and the NFL believes they will no longer be branded as racist, or have to schedule skim-milk Super Bowl halftime shows headlined by Maroon 5.

Jay-Z is a boss. Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are workers. It is the interest of workers in the NFL to unite and say that blackballing people for their political beliefs is never going to be OK. It is in the interest of workers to stand up for their colleague. It is in Shawn Carter’s interest to stand up for himself. It’s not “millions and millions” who are going to be helped. It’s one person. It’s Jay-Z’s ultimate hustle—a hustle he told us, over 20 years ago, we were never to knock.

As Eric Reid said when the news broke, “Jay-Z claimed to be a supporter of Colin…and now he’s going to be a part owner.… It’s kind of despicable.” It is despicable. It’s also the reality of doing business. Colin Kaepernick is a worker. Shawn Carter is a boss. Better to have clarity on that question than the idea that billionaires will ever lead social movements in anyone’s interests other than their own.