One thing is for sure: Marcellus Wiley is apart of the “Protect Jay Z at All Costs” movement. It’s been a tough few days for Roc Nation’s head honcho as his partnership with the NFL has been called into question. The hip hop mogul has been accused of abandoning his racial injustice movements, particularly Colin Kaepernick‘s kneeling protest which he publicly supported, to side with the Big Bad NFL. However, there are others who believe that Jay’s deal is just a chess move in a greater game.
Wiley is of the latter train of thought. The former NFL player hopes that people will see the bigger picture, and he shared his opinion on his show Speak For Yourself. Wiley fully backs Jay’s move and states he was always skeptical about Kaepernick’s protest. “Jay Z told you what he thinks of Kaepernick, truly, through his actions,” Wiley said. “He didn’t go to Kaepernick to say, ‘Can I? Should I?’ He just did it. You know why? As he said, we’re beyond kneeling. You can keep kneeling. I’m gonna take this baton from you as you’re kneeling and now translate this into the two things that are most important in this whole conversation, which is the money and the power that can give the resources back to those who are underprivileged, underserved, and voiceless.”
“Here’s the thing: Jay Z is smart. You don’t become Marcy projects to billionaire and not be smart,” Wiley continued. “Jay Z is guilty of giving Kaepernick a pass the same way I was guilty of giving him a pass. I was conflicted. From day one, I was against him kneeling ’cause I said, get up and get those resources. Where we’re from, your kneeling at kick-off has nothing to do with our situation unless you translate that, materialize it, and monetize it. Jay Z waited long enough and finally said, ‘I gotta step past this dude to get this right.'”
Wiley maintains that it all boils down to this movement being an “identity issue” as the “leaders” of the campaign aren’t all black. “The identity of those leading it has always been in question,” he said. “Let’s keep it one thousand up here because my pass has expired for this. The pass has expired…Kaepernick comes from a situation where he’s never felt the full weight of these injustices. This is a mixed-race guy that was raised by a white family from Wisconsin to Central California. Respect. That does not disqualify you from talking for us, but when you make missteps and miscalculations, oh, it comes back into play. He never spoke on this when Black Lives Matters movement was at its height.”
Wiley reminded the hosts that after Ferguson, Missouri broke out in chaos following Michael Brown’s death, Jay Z was helping to bail protestors out of jail, and when Trayvon Martin was murdered, Jay met with his family. Wiley said that he knew Kaepernick during that time and alleged that he wasn’t worried about any movement. He also mentioned Kaepernick’s girlfriend, Nessa Diab, saying that he gives respect to her, but she isn’t black. Watch it all below.