What would happen if Jay-Z took a knee?


Photo Credit: Maridav

Music mogul Jay-Z, in defending his new business relationship with the NFL, says “we’ve moved past kneeling.”

Let’s fix this for him. Jay-Z has moved past kneeling; the rest of us, not so much.

I can understand Jay-Z defending his new relationship with the NFL, which is being sold to us as Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s entertainment company, consulting with the NFL on entertainment and social-justice initiatives.

Quick aside: doesn’t it feel like the part about social justice is kinda just thrown in there to make a basic deal to have Jay-Z and Roc Nation doing some music stuff and getting paid for it look like something else?


There shouldn’t be anything wrong with Jay-Z making money doing work for the NFL, and actually, I can buy the notion that him lending his street cred to the NFL can drag the NFL closer to where it needs to be in terms of doing things with more than the interests of the white-male billionaires who run the business in mind.

The inartful way that he tried to get that point across, though, damn.

We haven’t moved past kneeling. The president still boosts white supremacists, says women of color critics should go back to where they came from, and on and on, and the people who profit the most from our obsession with pro football send millions of the dollars they generate from that obsession to his re-election campaign.

The rest of the quote from Jay-Z was “it’s time for action.”

No problem, again, with him making a buck from the NFL, but helping the NFL with the halftime show at the Super Bowl is not the kind of action that will address racial inequality.

The question that prompted his statement about kneeling was direct: would he kneel or stand during the national anthem?

As much as he thinks kneeling isn’t action, imagine the impact of Jay-Z, now an NFL partner, kneeling during an anthem at a game.

That knee would spur untold amount of positive action.

Column by Chris Graham

uva basketball team of destiny

Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.


Augusta Free Press content is available for free, as it has been since 2002, save for a disastrous one-month experiment at putting some content behind a pay wall back in 2009. (We won’t ever try that again. Almost killed us!) That said, it’s free to read, but it still costs us money to produce. The site is updated several times a day, every day, 365 days a year, 366 days on the leap year. (Stuff still happens on Christmas Day, is what we’re saying there.) AFP does well in drawing advertisers, but who couldn’t use an additional source of revenue? From time to time, readers ask us how they can support us, and we usually say, keep reading. Now we’re saying, you can drop us a few bucks, if you’re so inclined.