The recent Inspire Change partnership between the NFL and Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation hasn’t enjoyed much positive fanfare, and there is a growing chorus of dissent over the deal. That criticism has snowballed after Inspire Change announced it was giving funds to a youth organization that came under fire for cutting the dreadlocks of boys in their program and for pushing the “All Lives Matter” narrative.
Due to the efforts of Twitter account Resist Programming, a series of tweets highlights how Inspire Change aims to award $400,000 to two Chicago groups, Better Boys Foundation and Crushers Club, both centered on bettering the lives of youth and to address issues they face in the WIndy City. However, Resist Programming uncovered a number of troubling tweets that seem to paint Crushers Club as a hub of respectability politics and a pro-police agenda.
The thread from Resist Programming can be found here, and it is apparent that Crushers Club staffers are now deleting tweets that point to its glee over cutting the hair of Black boys. Other tweets show Crusher Club’s president Sally Hazelgrove, a white woman, cutting the hair of teens in the program. There were also tweets promoting the “All Lives Matter” tagline, and another asking President Donald Trump to help turn around Chicago’s gang violence.
This comes as the NFL kicked off its season on Thursday (September 5) by way of a contest between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers, with Roc Nation artists Meek Mill, Vic Mensa, and Meghan Trainor all making visits to both clubs this week.
On Twitter, Jay-Z and the NFL has been catching heat from all angles related to the Inspire Change efforts and how a supposedly vetted and investigated organization managed to squeak by to get their hands on funds from the league after it allegedly froze out Colin Kaepernick for calling attention to the social injustice in America, especially as it relates to Black people.
As has been said before, even if the mission has pure intentions, the optics appear extremely out of focus.
Check out the reactions below.
THREAD: Cutting off dreads for “change...and a better life.”— Resist Programming 🛰 (@RzstProgramming) September 5, 2019
“Cops and cupcakes”
Praise for Chicago Police
A look at some tweets from one of the Roc Nation “hand-selected and vetted” organizations “as part of the ‘entertainment and social justice partnership’ with Jay-Z...” https://t.co/J4yKYUqvuc
This is why the Crushers Club organization given $200k through the Jay-Z/NFL initiative is problematic. Regardless of the intent, cutting dreadlocks off for respectability politics is gross https://t.co/LKD51KNKUt— 𝐄𝐱𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐫 𝐏𝐨𝐩𝐞 (@exavierpope) September 6, 2019
Jay-Z giving to the Crushers Club just shows how out of touch he is with Chicago and police accountability. This thread is repulsive. https://t.co/8hL3Wym4eS— Charles Preston (@_CharlesPreston) September 5, 2019
Thread on the Crushers Club, which encourage black people to cut off their dreads and spreads awful copaganda. Jay-Z and other black celebs support this for some reason. https://t.co/QcwIA4uaQ6— Employable Human Person (@TheSolClarke) September 6, 2019
Tweets have been uncovered related to Crushers Club. That is one of the organizations that received the donations from Jay-Z’ and the NFL’s #InspireChange efforts.— Morgan Sherm (@morganLOOKS) September 5, 2019
Certain tweets should not be on organizational accounts....
Sally Hazelgrove from the Crushers Club, has a history of cutting Black boy’s hair & she is a Trump supporter who believes that Black people in #Chicago should be placed on a curfew.— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) September 6, 2019
And guess who is helping to fund her and her organization?
Jay-Z, Roc Nation, and the NFL.
So JayZ’s “Inspire Change” NFL deal will fund a suspected white supremacist covert org named Crushers Club, which targets black youth & manipulates them into cuting their dreads, & feeds them nonstop blue lives matter “cop” propaganda. Jay-Z is a sellout. https://t.co/grmUGKkMUP pic.twitter.com/xUu2Hdm0RM— Bold Justice (@bold_justice) September 5, 2019
My brother is a nurse in the ER. He is a RN and he has dreads. Soooo, I'm confused on what this mop head lady is trying to say about ppl with dreads 🤔😏 pic.twitter.com/uMUCRMrt5y— Jay🇭🇹 (@JrdaKing954) September 5, 2019
Yes. Ever since I started growing my locs I have been gangbanging and doing the marijuanas.— BISEXUAL PANIC (@TheKing_Duh) September 5, 2019
The founder of @crushersclub is Sally Hazelgrove. That’s the blond woman in the pictures cutting off the young brothas’ locs. I have no idea what her political leanings are. What research shows this org is Black owned? #InspireChange https://t.co/6L1mbLGCIa— April (@ReignOfApril) September 6, 2019
A white woman cutting off a black youths locs is unsettling.— Despondent Oatmeal (@MamaMeelah) September 6, 2019
Its completely OK if this young man got locs as a symbol of a certain lifestyle and he chose to cut them off as a symbol of change.
It is NOT ok if a bunch of white saviors coaxed him into it.
Bruh your hair has nothing to do with your situation - Locs have made white folks uncomfortable for years - hence the word DREAD - white supremacy knows the power of black folks doing things with our hair they can’t - love those locs— UppityPotHead (@MrBossett) September 5, 2019