Dr. Dre is set to perform at the Pepsi Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday (Feb. 13) alongside Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige, and there’s a massive buzz around the upcoming show, but J. Cole isn’t caught up in the hysteria and is instead reminding fans that Colin Kaepernick remains blacklisted by the NFL.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016 after he protested police brutality and racial inequality by taking a knee during the U.S. national anthem before games. He was released by the team a year later and has remained a free agent ever since.
Cole and several other high profile Black celebrities, including Cardi B and Rihanna agreed to boycott the NFL in support of Kaepernick, however the Black vote was easily swayed after Jay-Z became the new face of the NFL’s social change initiative.
With less than 3 days left before Super Bowl Sunday, Cole is publicly expressing his support for the former quarterback and civil rights activist.
“’Y’all musta forgot’ in my @royjonesjrofficial voice,” wrote Cole alongside a photo of Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem.
“Imagine 5 straight years spent waking up every day to train at 5am, staying ready in hopes that some team would reach out with an opportunity, no matter how impossible that sounded most days. He probably finishing up today’s workout as I type this right now. I see you bro, and I know God is with you.”
Jay-Z also recently faced social media backlash after fans questioned his role in dismissing Colin’s movement.
When announcing his deal with the NFL, Jay said “I think we’re past kneeling. I think it’s time for action.” Social media users were quick to point out that his relationship with the NFL hasn’t produced anything “tangible in terms of advancing social and racial justice issues,” which was supposed to be the core of the partnership.
While Kaepernick remains without a job, Cole hopes to see that change. “I pray the day soon comes when you get to play the game you love at the highest level again. I believe. And I haven’t forgot. RESPECT,” he concluded his caption.
Colin acknowledge Cole’s recent support and shared it on his IG Stories, replying, “Respect to the legend, and one of the greatest to ever do it! I appreciate you having my back brother!”
Despite the odds stacked against him, Kaepernick remains hopeful of one day returning to the NFL. “I am still up at 5 a.m. training five, six days a week making sure I’m prepared to take a team to a Super Bowl again,” he told Ebony. “That’s not something I will ever let go of, regardless of the actions of 32 teams and their partners to deny me employment. The same way I was persistent in high school is the same way I’m gonna be persistent here.”
The Pro-athlete recently made headlines this month after it was revealed that Spike Lee will direct ESPN Films’ upcoming documentary about his life and career.
“Kaepernick — who has never given a full, first-person account of his journey — is collaborating closely with Lee, who plans to use extensive new interviews and a vast never-before-seen archive to help Kaepernick tell his story from his perspective,” a press release about the film read.
The multi-part documentary is currently in production and was first announced as part of Kaepernick’s first-look deal with Disney, which he inked in 2020. ESPN Films and Lee’s company Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks will co-produce the project.