Charles Sykes/Associated Press
Colin Kaepernick spoke with Jay-Z before the rap mogul and the NFL announced their partnership deal, though the nature of the conversation is uncertain, TMZ Sports reported across a series of updates on Wednesday.
Per the TMZ report, Kaepernick’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, denied Jay-Z talked to the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback.
However, members of Jay-Z’s camp said the two did have a conversation in the last 48 hours in order for Jay-Z to give Kaepernick “more like a heads-up,” according to TMZ, that the partnership with the NFL would be announced.
Nessa Diab, who has been in a relationship with Kaepernick since 2015, said on Twitter no conversation happened about the partnership deal:
THIS is a lie. COLIN never spoke to Jay-Z and NFL ahead of that deal being done. They NEVER included him in any discussion 👉🏽 https://t.co/TWmoXS4JVJ https://t.co/2bjSIEtnjQ
During a joint press conference about the partnership (h/t Variety‘s Jem Aswad), Jay-Z and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell both said they’ve spoken to Kaepernick.
In response to one reporter’s question, Jay-Z said he “would never tell you what me and Kap’s private conversation was about, but we spoke, yeah.”
Neither detailed the nature of his discussions with Kaepernick, nor did Jay-Z specify when his conversation with Kaepernick occurred.
The NFL announced Tuesday it has entered into a multiyear partnership with Roc Nation, the company founded by Jay-Z in 2008, to “enhance the NFL’s live game experiences and to amplify the league’s social justice efforts.”
Kaepernick began the movement of kneeling during the national anthem prior to NFL games during the 2016 season. He explained to NFL.com’s Sam Wyche he was “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
Since opting out of his contract with the 49ers in March 2017, Kaepernick has gone unsigned by all 32 teams.