Never Too Loud
Wearing a green and gold striped jacket with “LOVE” on the back, Jay-Z made a crowd scream in agreement as he talked about the waves going on in the NFL. The movement, which is still causing a noticeable division in the League, was started by Colin Kaepernick. Despite the tradition to stand, he sat down during the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the 49ers first three preseason games. After the third game, spectators took notice.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder,” he said in a post-game interview, referencing the deaths that led to the Black Lives Matter movement. The quarterback stated that he would continue to protest until he felt like “[the American flag] represents what it’s supposed to represent.”
In the months following Kaepernick’s 2016 protest, racial tensions rose. However, according to Jigga, it shouldn’t have since this is not a racial issue.
After Kaepernick’s actions gained national attention, his supporters and shamers became painfully clear. The line drawn in the sand between the two sides seemed to split things into a race war. According to Jay-Z though, this was never about race. According to TMZ, Jay-Z stopped during a concert to say:
“What they’re doing is not about a flag. It’s about justice. It’s about injustice… And that’s not a black or a white thing. It’s a human issue. Everybody should feel the same way. If your 16-year-old child left the house and didn’t come back, everyone should be effected. That’s not a black or a white issue, that’s a human issue. That’s a young person who lost their life senselessly.”
He continued sharing his views during the New Orleans stop of his 4:44 tour. Jigga said:
“This is not a black or white issue. Its a human issue. It’s a child. So when we over here puttin our muthaf–kin fist up and kneeling… It’s not because we disrespecting the flag. It’s because we want to bring attention to injustice.”
He then began to rap the second verse of “The Story of O.J.”
Since Jay has started his 4:44 tour he has been extremely vocal about the social injustice happening in America. His comments about the NFL and the deaths of young African Americans aren’t the first to come from the rapper while in the middle of a concert. During his 4:44 stop in Dallas last week (Nov. 8), Jigga spoke frankly about Meek Mill’s prison sentence.
Much less politely than in his eloquently-written Facebook post, Jay stopped rapping to recap why Meek finds himself locked up right now. “If you give me two seconds… I’ve got to say something about a young man by the name of Meek Mill,” he began. “He caught a charge when he was, like, 19. He’s 30 now; he’s been on probation for 11 years. F–king 11 years. Judge gave him two-to-four years because he got arrested for being on a bike and popping a f–king wheelie.”
In August, Meek was arrested for misdemeanor assault charges. He was arrested again for reckless driving five months later. The assault case was dropped and a plea deal was reached in the reckless driving case. However, when combined with failing to get permission to travel and failing a drug test, the judge decided to send Meek to prison.
The prosecutor himself suggested that Meek serve no jail time, citing the fact that that rapper is now a different person from who was sentenced on gun and drug charges nearly 10 years ago. Still, Meek Mill is currently sitting in prison.
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