Jay-Z made a statement this week, when he dedicated a song to Colin Kaepernick during his headlining set at the Meadows Music and Arts Festival in Queens, New York.
On Friday (Sept. 15), the first of the festival’s three-night run, the rap legend showed love to the in-limbo NFL quarterback while performing the 4:44 cut, “The Story of O.J.”, which references O.J. Simpson, as well as race and financial empowerment.
“I want to dedicate this song to Colin Kaepernick tonight. I want to dedicate this song to anyone that was held back and you overcame,” said Jay, according to ESPN.
Jay-Z also dedicated the song to Dick Gregory, the late comedian and activist who broke racial barriers in the 1960s. He died last month.
Kaepernick has been ostracized from the league since he made the decision to kneel during the national anthem at NFL games last fall, in protest of police brutality and racial equality. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he said at the time. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
He’s since opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers and become a free agent. However, no team has shown interest in the 29-year-old.
Supporters say he is being blackballed.