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.
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