NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Jay-Z of Roc Nation during the recent partnership announcement.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Jay-Z of Roc Nation during the recent partnership announcement.

In spite of all the controversy created by the NFL’s recent partnership with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, the partnership is aggressively moving forward.

The two have announced that Meek Mill, Meghan Trainor and Rapsody will be the NFL’s ‘Inspire Change’ advocates for the partnership’s inaugural season. This will include a free concert on September 5th in Chicago’s Grant Park before the NFL kicks off its 2019 season.

An interesting aspect of Inspire Change initiative will be a new apparel line that the NFL and Roc Nation are collaborating on. The proceeds will help fund the program’s efforts across the country.  According to the league, these efforts include:

  • Improving relations between communities and police departments.
  • Implementing criminal justice reform.
  • Empowering people both economically and through education.

The NFL and Roc Nation will also be working together on something they are calling ‘Songs of the Season,’ in which new music will debut every month within football broadcasts.  Simultaneously, this music will be released on leading streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.
As with the apparel line, all proceeds will go toward funding the campaign. The new music will come not just from emerging artists in many different genres but also from some big stars.

Those attending the September 5th event at Grant Park will see a show headlined by Meek Mill, which will also include performances by Meghan Trainor and Rapsody and will be attended by former NFL superstars Michael Vick and Chad Johnson.

Also attending the show will be the Crushers Club and BBF Family Services, which are two community service organizations in the Chicago area.

BBF Family Services, along with Rapsody, will further be holding an Inspire Change Speed Mentoring Session a day before the event, where young people can receive mentorship from the NFL, Roc Nation and others.

After the show, attendees can watch the opening game of the NFL season between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers on large screens placed throughout the park.

Of course, no mention of Colin Kaepernick during the recent announcement, though both Jay-Z and the NFL seem eager to move the organization past the polarizing ex-QB.  “We need to get past kneeling,” Jay-Z stated during the partnership’s announcement, much to the chagrin of Kaepernick.