Jay-Z and Beyoncé are taking a stand…or actually, taking a seat.
“I think that we forget that Colin’s whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice,” Jay-Z said at the widely-viewed press conference announcing his partnership with the National Football League this past summer. “In that case, this is the success. This is the next thing. There’s two parts to a protest. You go outside and you protest, and then the company or the individual say, ‘I hear you. What do we do next?’”
Apparently, one of the things Jay-Z did “next” was echo Kaepernick’s actions at Super Bowl LIV, where the Kansas City Chiefs triumphed over the San Francisco 49ers (Kaepernick’s former team). He and Beyoncé decided not to stand for the national anthem.
As Demi Lovato performed a rousing rendition of the anthem, Jay and Beyoncé looked on and swayed back and forth…right in their seats. They appeared moved, but they did not move. Because, you know, black folks still ain’t here for that star-spangled shit. We didn’t forget.
Though there have been valid criticisms and concerns regarding his new partnership with the NFL (and it makes sense to be skeptical of a capitalist’s true motives), Jay assures he still completely backs Kaepernick while maintaining that something needs to be done beyond protest.
“No one is saying he hasn’t been done wrong,” Jay said in a recent New York Times interview. “He was done wrong. I would understand if it was three months ago. But it was three years ago and someone needs to say, ‘What do we do now—because people are still dying?’”
Perhaps Sunday’s gesture was a representation of his solidarity.
As Staff Writer Anne Branigin wrote:
It’s been almost three years since the first time Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem, a gesture meant to express his pain over repeated and ongoing incidents of police brutality (and one that he repeatedly confirmed as such). Though the protests ultimately cost him his NFL career, Kaepernick was applauded by many for this activism, in particular from Jay-Z, who wore a Kaepernick jersey during a fall 2017 SNL performance, and referred to the former quarterback as an “iconic figure.”
Naturally, Bey and Jay’s stance shook the Twitter table.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall during the moment when ’03 Bonnie & Clyde decided to remain seated amongst a group of white people who think it’s okay to cheer on their team with a racist chant. Senior Writer and Wypipolgist Michael Harriot posited, “You know Beyonce said: You Bet Not Stand up!”
As Harriot is our resident expert researcher, I totally believe he was ear-hustling next to the powerful couple. You know, for research purposes.