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Capitalism Over Kaepernick

NFL, Jay Z Deal gives an Insulting Pass to the Struggle for Justice

As a member of a Black Law Enforcement Organization, who has embraced and openly supported Colin Kaepernick and the NFL Boycott. It is my opinion that Sean Corey Carter, aka Jay-Z’s deal with the NFL, has given an insulting pass to the still blackballed NFL player and the continued oppression of police criminality of Black and Brown people. 

For the remainder of the article, I will refrain from calling Mr. Carter, Jay Z because Jay Z is a character on my iTunes that I love. The person who we saw with Roger Goodell was Sean Carter, the businessman behind the character. If we put that in the right perspective, we will see clearly what the deal was about.  

According to the National Academy of Science,  Black men and boys face the highest risk of being killed by police–at a rate of 96 out of 100,000 deaths. 

Blacks, especially women, are more likely to have been unarmed when killed by police than non-blacks, and that risk appears to increase in police departments with a more significant presence of non-white officers, according to a new study of nationwide data from Washington University in St. Louis.

A key finding of the study is that nearly 60 percent of black women killed by police were unarmed at the time of the interaction. The killing of unarmed Black people by police is just as America as Apple Pie. 

I have sat, prayed, marched, rallied, and kneeled with many families of victims of police criminality. The emotional toll a social program can’t replace. Colin Kaepernick’s silent protest was significant in the hopes of many of these families that someone is listening. His platform made many elected officials who weren’t responding respond. For this Kaepernick was blackballed by those, who claim now they want to change. 

Listening to the interview immediately brought me back to another sad moment in Hip Hop when Kanye West said, slavery was a choice.

Kaepernick took a knee to make a silent statement on the continuous questionable shootings of black and brown men and women by police throughout the nation. For Mr. Carter to say we have moved pass kneeling, gives a Blackface of relief to how wealthy white businessmen and professional sports owners have responded to protest on social justice issues. Mr. Carter has also dismissed the many athletes that are still kneeling to bring awareness to the many injustices around the world.

The NFL has sent a dangerous message to the rest of their Black athletes that they better not cause any more trouble, even if you’re bringing awareness to the many injustices to your own people.

With 30 years as a Black Law Enforcement Professional, I recognize this tactic; it’s even used in Law Enforcement when Black Officers stand up against the institution for police brutality and civil rights violations of our people. Like Kaepernick, I too was a victim. I wasn’t fired, but when the attack is to teach the out of line negro a lesson, like the silence of many NFL players with Kaepernick, Black Law Enforcement is silent as well when one of their own is outspoken on the abuse of their own by police. 

The NFL has also broadcasted a message to Black people throughout the world that Black issues do not matter. It is uncommon that our children see athletes standing up for problems in their communities, especially for the many black men that have been unjustly killed by Law Enforcement.

Mr. Carter needs to renew himself in the history of resistance and what it means, and what it is supposed to accomplish. If the result is that the NFL is losing money; good. If the result is that nobody is watching the halftime shows; good.  The goal was NEVER to sit with the oppressor for an Entertainment deal cloaked by social justice reform. If Roger Goodell, the NFL were really about social justice reform, Colin Kaepernick would be playing today. 

As usual, this is Capitalism of Kaepernick.  Money over Morality. A system that has been guilty of enriching itself on the backs of Black, Brown, and Poor from chattel slavery to white team owners over their majority-black football league. 

The fact that Barclaycard US is reported to be a major sponsor of the NFL, the same owners of the Barclays Center where Mr. Carter has business ties. We should as a people be insulted that the NFL and Mr. Carter will dangle social justice programs in our face when this deal is about protecting the brand of the NFL and its investors while Kaepernick is still out of a job. 

The benefits of capitalism have always benefited the owners of the capital. We should never be fooled with trinkets, false slogans, and entertainment. 

I really don’t think that many people are saying Mr. Carter sold out. Capitalism has its own norms and values. The fact of the matter is Mr. Carter solid in. He sold in the capitalistic norm that black people must move on from how they perceive the NFL so money can be made.

If Mr. Carter wants to do a deal that expands his business empire, that is his choice, and he should be honest about that. As someone that has been on the frontline, retaliated against for my stance for justice, who knows personally many families of victims of police criminality. The lack of  Mr. Carter’s understanding of the deep spiritual, emotional investment many families and supporters have invested to fight for justice; a halftime entertainment deal  camouflaged in social justice has done a disservice to the struggle.


About Damon K. Jones (238 Articles)
Damon K. Jones is an Activist, Author, and Publisher of Black Westchester Magazine, a Black-owned and operated newspaper based in Westchester County, New York. Mr. Jones is a Holistic Health Practitioner, First Aid in Mental Health Practioner, Diet, and Nutrition Advisor, and Vegan, Vegetarian Nutrition Life Coach. Mr. Jones is a 31 year Law Enforcement Practioner, New York Representative of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America. Mr. Jones has been a guest commentator on New York radio stations WBLS (107.5 FM), WLIB (1190 am), WRKS (98.7 FM), WBAI (99.5 FM), and Westchester's WVOX (1460 am). Mr. Jones has appeared on local television broadcasts, including Westchester News 12 “News Makers” and Public Television “Winbrook Pride. You can now hear Damon every Wednesday at 830 AM on WFAS 1230 AM, Morning with Bob Marone Show.
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