Rapper and businessman Jay-Z said last week “we’ve moved past kneeling” when it comes to NFL player protests during the national anthem.
Colin Kaepernick, who started the movement in 2016 and hasn’t been able to land a job in the league since the following year, doesn’t think so.
Neither do Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid and Miami Dolphins teammates Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson, all of whom took a knee during the anthem before their teams’ preseason games this weekend.
In what was likely not a coincidence, Kaepernick used a couple of Jay-Z’s words in a tweet Sunday praising Reid, Stills and Wilson for having “never moved past the people.”
My Brothers @E_Reid35 @KSTiLLS @iThinkIsee12 continue to fight for the people, even in the face of death threats. They have never moved past the people and continue to put their beliefs into action. Stay strong Brothers!!! ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/OQClsZXD5V— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) August 18, 2019
“My Brothers @E_Reid35 @KSTiLLS @iThinkIsee12 continue to fight for the people, even in the face of death threats,” Kaepernick wrote in a tweet that also included photos of the three men kneeling. “They have never moved past the people and continue to put their beliefs into action. Stay strong Brothers!!!”
Last week, the NFL and Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s entertainment and sports company, announced a partnership involving music and social activism. The move caught some people by surprise since Jay-Z has been a vocal supporter of Kaepernick.
“I think we’ve moved past kneeling and I think it’s time to go into actionable items,” Jay-Z told reporters during a news conference with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
He added that “the NFL has a huge platform and we can use that huge platform.”
Jay-Z also said he had a discussion with Kaepernick regarding the deal, leading the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s girlfriend, Nessa, to tweet: “THIS is a lie. COLIN never spoke to Jay-Z and NFL ahead of that deal being done. They NEVER included him in any discussion.”
Collusion grievances filed by Kaepernick and Reid against the NFL were resolved earlier this year. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but they apparently didn’t include any language to prevent the men from speaking out about the situation.
Reid tweeted last week: “Jay-Z knowingly made a money move with the very people who’ve committed an injustice against Colin and is using social justice to smooth it over with the black community.”
He also told reporters this weekend: “When has Jay-Z ever taken a knee to tell us we’re past kneeling? Yes, he’s done a lot of great work. A lot of great social justice work. But for you to get paid to go into an NFL press conference and say that we’re past kneeling? Again, asinine.”