The partnership between the NFL and Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation has come under an avalanche of criticism, egged on in no part by the pair’s Inspire Change initiative giving money to a Chicago organization. The Crushers Club, a group that once paraded the fact it cut dreadlocks off some of its participants in a bid to “better themselves,” is now apologizing for the acts.
NBC News reports:
Sally Hazelgrove, founder and executive director of the Crushers Club, a Chicago-based nonprofit, said the two photos that were widely circulated online this week were taken in October 2016 and that the two teens had requested she shear their dreads. She said the images originally appeared in tweets she sent from the Crushers Club’s Twitter account.
“This was something they asked me to do because they were looking to change their identities,” Hazelgrove told NBC News on Friday, adding that her organization has no policy regarding hairstyles.
Hazelgrove, who is white, said she posted both of the tweets, including one on Oct. 25, 2016, that said: “Another Crusher let me cut his dreads off! It’s symbolic of change and their desire for a better life!”
In another tweet that September, she used the hashtag #loveshorthair.
Hazelgrove’s tweets were uncovered by Twitter account @RzstProgramming, highlighting some of what was reported above. The account has issued several tweets aimed at or related to the Crushers Club, including their ongoing campaign to correct the poor optics of Inspire Change’s donation.
The NFL and Roc Nation have kept mum about their donation to Crushers Club.