Everyone has an opinion on the NFL’s new partnership with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. It seems Meek Mill is a fan because he’s agreed to be an official ambassador for the league’s social justice initiative along with Rapsody and, uh, Meghan Trainor.
To recap, Roc Nation recently signed on to advise the NFL on its live music operations and its social justice program Inspire Change. This arrangement has been contentious. Some have critiqued Jay-Z for agreeing to work with the NFL while Colin Kaepernick remains blackballed for kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. Others have praised Jay for putting himself in a position where he can accomplish change. Jay and his supporters see it as progress. Critics call it a cynical money move that provides cover for the NFL.
As The Fader points out, the NFL announced in a press release today that Meek, Rapsody, and Trainor have been named Inspire Change Advocates. It’s unclear exactly what the job entails, but their first order of business is to perform a free concert in Chicago’s Grant Park on Thursday, 9/5, some of which will be shown during that night’s Bears-Packers game.
Meek himself has become an outspoken advocate for criminal justice reform ever since his highly publicized legal saga, which finally wrapped up this week. Earlier this year he partnered with Jay-Z to launch the prison reform initiative REFORM Alliance.
In addition to revealing its Inspire Change advocates, the league is also announcing the launch of a clothing line called Inspire Change apparel, which, according to the release, “will fund and support Inspire Change programs across the country.” And then there’s Songs Of The Season, the NFL’s new music showcase, explained as such:
Songs of the Season is a multi-tier, season-long initiative that will highlight superstars and emerging artists of all genres. Songs of the Season will showcase musicians that will create and deliver a song to be integrated in all NFL promotions each month during the season. The songs will debut during an in-game broadcast and will be simultaneously released to all digital streaming platforms (DSPs) worldwide. All proceeds from the songs will go toward Inspire Change.
So far this is going about how everyone expected it would go. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing remains up for debate. It will be interesting to see exactly what sort of change is inspired.