There were many eyes on Jay-Z at the 2020 Super Bowl in light of his controversial partnership with the NFL secured in 2019.
This year's championship game marked the first time that Hov was actively involved as he co-produced the halftime show in addition to the proposed social justice initiatives that Roc Nation will spearhead as part of the deal.
On Sunday (Feb. 2), the Internet was galvanized after TMZ published a video of Hov and Beyoncé seated during the singing of the national anthem by Demi Lovato at the 2020 Super Bowl earlier this week. Many who saw the video preemptively assumed that the hip-hop power couple decided to protest the anthem, invoking parallels to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protests. For those out of the loop, the protests sparked the series of events that lead to Kaep’s NFL blackballing and, for Hov’s critics, marred his deal with the NFL.
However, during a Columbia University lecture series on Tuesday (Feb. 4), the Roc Nation honcho clarified that he was not trying to make a political statement, as reported by Page Six. The moderator of the Q&A asked whether his sitting was “meant to convey a signal” as well.
“It actually wasn’t — sorry,” he responded, adding that if he’d wanted to make a political statement, “I’d say, ‘Yes, that’s what I’ve done.’ I think people know that about me,” which further incensed those who have been critical of Jay working closely with the NFL.
“First of all, Jay-Z is a man of action. I really respect the fact that he is like ‘Okay, we are going to change this situation from the mentality that is going on for communities,” Common began, adding that “[Jay-Z] is for the people.”
“I know that he is about that and he’s been living that life,” the three-time Grammy winner attested. “He [does] it when the lights ain’t on. Sometimes, we don’t even know he [has] been helping out people. I respect those who do the work and don’t always announce it, and Jay-Z is one of those people.”
Common concluded his sentiments with the adage, “he told you what his intention was, meaning he was checking out what was going on because he part of the production...if you ain’t happy with it, then so be it.”
(Photo L-R: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images and Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Reform Alliance)