Sportress of Blogitude

Robert Kraft confirms role in brokering deal between NFL, Jay-Z

Robert Kraft was believed to have played an integral role in brokering the recently announced, extensive partnership between the NFL and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. On Wednesday, the New England Patriots owner confirmed playing a part in facilitating the deal.

During an appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show,” Kraft noted how his friendship with Jay-Z set the groundwork to arrange the partnership, which charges Roc Nation to assume oversight of the NFL’s music, entertainment and social-justice efforts under its Inspire Change project.

“We’re involved with the NFL, and Jay-Z is a good friend and we’ve been doing some stuff in some charitable areas,” Kraft said, via NBC Sports Boston. “We were happy to introduce each side and try to help them work together.”

Kraft reportedly got the ball rolling by arranging a meeting between NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Jay-Z in Los Angeles back in January.

The friendship between Kraft and Jay-Z was spawned in large part by their joint efforts to free rapper Meek Mill from prison, not to mention how the two played key roles in the formation of the Criminal Justice Reform Organization.

The new partnership is not without its detractors, however, as the league’s foremost social-justice advocates, headed by Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, have led the blowback against it. NFL outcast Colin Kaepernick has similarly taken issue with the arrangement.