As reported by TMZ, JAY-Z is going to buy a “significant ownership interest” in an NFL team at some point in the “near future,” with an unnamed source saying that he wants to “continue to be a change agent for the NFL.” TMZ’s source also says that JAY-Z won’t be able to manage players as an owner, since he is “not an NFL agent and does not take part in the operations of the NFL players in Roc Nation,” which is reference to the fact that he previously had to sell his stake in the Brooklyn Nets NBA team because it conflicted with his work in Roc Nation’s sports management division. Also, once this deal happens, it will make JAY-Z the first Black team owner in NFL history—which, it’s worth saying, is fucking absurd.
Roc Nation recently made a deal with the NFL that—as Variety puts it—will “[encompass] entertainment and social justice,” and at a press conference alongside NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announcing that deal, JAY-Z touched on the racial inequality protests of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (who has effectively been blackballed by the existing NFL owners), saying, “I think we’re past kneeling, I think it’s time for action.” He also noted that he wants his company and its new involvement with the NFL to be “a vehicle that can inspire change and speak to the masses at the same time,” which should be easier to accomplish once he becomes a part-owner of a team. According to an Atlantic piece about how this makes JAY-Z an accomplice in the NFL’s treatment of Kaepernick, the rapper/mogul spoke with the quarterback/activist about this new deal and it “was not a good conversation.”
The other big wrinkle here is that we don’t know which team JAY-Z is about to procure a “significant ownership interest” in, and the fact that there isn’t an NFL team associated with Brooklyn means there isn’t an easier answer. The two New York teams don’t even play in New York, so unless JAY-Z wants to expand his hometown pride to New Jersey, they don’t seem like easy answers either.