Update (August 13, 2019): Conflicting reports have emerged about Colin Kaepernick’s knowledge about Jay-Z’s deal with the NFL.

The Rolling Stone reported Jay-Z said he spoke to Kaep prior to making the deal but wouldn’t share the details of the discussion. Hov also insisted the former 49ers player has nothing to do with the new partnership.

“I’m not knocking anything he’s doing, and I hope he doesn’t knock what I’m doing,” Jay-Z stated.

The “99 Problems” rapper urged potential critics to see the bigger picture.

"I think that we forget that Colin’s whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice, correct? So in that case, this is a success — this is the next thing,” he said. “There’s two parts of protest: the protest, and then there’s a company or individual saying ‘I hear you, what do we do next?’ For me it’s about actionable items, what are we going to do with it?"

People close to Kaepernick are telling a different story. Mark Geragos, Kaepernick’s attorney, told TMZ Sports there was no conversation before the announcement.

Nessa Diab, Kaep’s girlfriend, also denied the reports.

“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,” she tweeted.

Jay-Z’s team later told TMZ the two men talked in the last 48 hours but the discussions happened after the deal was cemented and before the announcement.

Original: Jay-Z and the NFL have decided to join forces, announcing a wide-ranging deal on Tuesday.
Through Roc Nation, Jay-Z will help produce the Super Bowl Halftime show and contribute to Inspire Change, a foundation the NFL created in response to massive outrage over their handling of Colin Kaepernick's protest.

Roc Nation will now manage the entertainment attached to games and produce exclusive music for the NFL. They plan to help coordinate concerts and do some promotion for the league as well. Jay-Z will also work with Inspire Change on criminal justice reform, education, police-community relations and economic advancement.

In interviews with The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, both Jay-Z and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the relationship went far deeper than just having the rapper perform at games.

“He was very quick to say that he does not want this to be about him performing, that it was broader than that. It quickly went beyond that. Do I hope he’ll perform in the Super Bowl sometime in the next several years? Yes. But I think we’ll all know if that time comes. He’ll know in particular,” Goodell said.

“We don’t want people to come in and necessarily agree with us; we want people to come in and tell us what we can do better, he added. “I think that’s a core element of our relationship between the two organizations, and with Jay and I personally.”

Jay-Z was frank about how the move will be perceived but said people need to get used to doing business with others who they may not agree with.

“We’re going through a tough time. A lot of people are not agreeing with one another. And we have to just push it along a little bit. There’s no magic pill. No one is going to have the solution themselves. You just have to do your little thing to push it along,” the mogul said.

Jay-Z told the Wall Street Journal had he not done business with "very, very rich people" who he did not agree with, he "couldn’t have any TV shows. I couldn’t put my platform on TV because I’m sure someone who owns the broadcast network has supported someone who I don’t believe should be in office."

The NFL is coming off a disastrous week where the Kaepernick controversy was reignited again because of Miami Dolphins owner, Stephen Ross. Ross hosted a fundraiser at his home for President Donald Trump that brought in more than $12 million in the Hamptons last Friday. People threatened to boycott Ross' businesses, like Equinox.

Jay-Z has been a vocal supporter of Kaepernick and refused to perform at the Super Bowl in 2018. He even tried to get Travis Scott not to perform in solidarity with Kaepernick, who has been out of the league since he began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Many on Twitter immediately brought up Jay-Z's line from his 2018 song with Beyoncé, “APESHIT.”

“I said no to the Super Bowl, you need me, I don’t need you,” he rapped.

Jay-Z addressed Kaepernick's continued banishment from the NFL on Monday and said he had not spoken to him before signing the deal. 

“He absolutely brought this conversation alive. We like to think that the way we build the Inspire Change platform, that if anything close to that would happen in the future, then Kaepernick would have a platform where he can express himself and maybe it doesn’t have to take place on the field,” Jay-Z said on Monday. 

"With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country. Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas —instead, we unify them. This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America."

The NFL settled the collusion lawsuit filed by Kaepernick in February for less than $10 million. The quarterback still hasn't been signed to a team roster despite the statistically embarrassing players some teams are trotting out this season. 

The league continued to court controversy on Tuesday afternoon when the coach of the Miami Dolphins told Kenny Stills to stop commenting on Ross and Trump. The move was slammed on Twitter by Eric Reid, another NFL player who kneels during the anthem. Kaepernick did not respond to requests for comment on the Jay-Z deal with the NFL, but he did retweet Reid's statement about Stills.