1:47 PM PT — Jay-Z says Patriots owner Robert Kraft played a role in fostering the new partnership. He pointed out he and Kraft worked closely on prison reform — especially Meek Mill’s case. Jay said, “I think he saw how serious we were in the room and we’ve a relationship before, and we basically talked.”
Former Giants running back Tiki Barber was in the room during the event and told us on “TMZ Live” … it was clear Jay is trying to advance the conversation that Kap started with his protest.
12:57 PM PT — Jay-Z’s camp tells us he has absolutely spoken to Kap within the last 48 hours, however … that was NOT before Jay agreed to his new partnership with the NFL. Still, a source at Roc Nation tells us Jay made it clear to Colin the partnership was about to be announced to the public. We’re told this was not a case of Jay checking in with Colin for approval — the deal was already signed — it was more like a heads up. Other NFL players got the call, too, we’re told.
To be clear … we’re told the question posed to Jay during the media event was simply whether he had spoken to Colin — NOT whether he had talked to Colin about the partnership.
11:38 AM PT — Colin Kaepernick’s attorney, Mark Geragos, says despite what Jay claimed in the meeting, Kap did NOT talk to Jay-Z prior to partnering with the NFL.
Jay-Z talked to Colin Kaepernick ahead of announcing his new partnership with the NFL — according to reports — but the rap mogul said his deal with the league goes beyond Kaepernick’s kneeling protest.
Some thought Jay — by signing on to help the NFL with entertainment and social justice issues — was undercutting Kap’s cause … but both Jay and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed that Wednesday at Roc Nation’s NYC offices.
The two men sat next to each other and discussed the partnership with about 30 invited media members. Referring to Kaepernick and other NFL players kneeling during the anthem, Jay said … “I think that we forget that Colin’s whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice so in that case this is a success — this is the next thing. There’s two parts of protest: the protest, and then there’s a company or individual saying ‘I hear you, what do we do next?’ For me it’s about actionable items, what are we gonna do about it?”
As you know, Kaepernick still doesn’t have a job in the NFL, and Goodell was asked if he’s been blackballed. He said “any team” can sign him. Both Jay-Z and Goodell said they had spoken to Kaepernick ahead of Tuesday’s announcement they’d be teaming up. However, neither would reveal what Kaepernick said.
As far as whether Kaepernick would be involved in the partnership — where the NFL will support Jay-Z’s social justice causes and Jay will produce the Super Bowl Halftime Show — Jay said, “You’ll have to ask him, I’m not his boss. That’s for him to say.”
Goodell and Jay seemed like a old friends … shaking hands and laughing through the event.
We’ve reached out to reps for Kaepernick to see if he has any reaction to Jay’s sit down with the NFL Commissioner.
By the way, the NFL and Roc Nation only allowed one still photographer in the event. The NFL shot the only video which it plans to release later Wednesday.